I went to the dentist on Monday. I’d put off going for over a year, but recently I’ve been having some molar pain that I could no longer ignore. At the dentist I learned that one molar is significantly decayed, to the point that it is full of, ah, gross decomposing food, and that the another is deeply cracked. I need two crowns, each one costing $1100.
This was a huge bummer to learn. I can’t put this dental work off any longer, and paying for the crowns means using money from my CDT fund, which means I wouldn’t be able to hike the CDT.
The 2,800 mile Continental Divide Trail is wilder, more arduous, and longer than the PCT. There is less water, less trail, more inclement weather, and much more overland navigation. Only a few dozen people thru-hike the CDT each year, compared to several hundred on the PCT. Hiking the CDT feels, I imagine, a little like what it must’ve felt like to hike the PCT in the seventies. The saying for the CDT is “Embrace the Brutality”.
Aside from the Lowest to Highest Route, I have never hiked a “trail” this wild. I have maps, shoes, and all of my gear. I’m so excited to hike I can hardly stand it. But my teeth are totally fucked.
You, dear reader, can send me to hike the CDT.
I currently have 2,400 blog followers- if each person following my blog contributed $1, I’d instantly be able to get the crowns I need, and hike the CDT, and blog about it for you.
I’m going to call that crowdfunding magic.
I made a crowdfunding page- Carrot on the CDT.
Why do this?
Because you’re curious about the CDT and you want to read what I’m going to write. Because you believe in me. Because the lack of access to affordable dental care in this country sux.
As thanks, I promise to write one blog post for every single day I’m on the trail. No matter how tired, sunburnt, hungry, or vaguely hypothermic I am. One blog post for each day, all for you.
ARE YOU SO EXCITED!
Other news: The book is coming along very, very well. It’s on track to be released in April. I feel excited/nervous about having this book out there in the world. One of the things that makes me most nervous is the pressure, when self-publishing, to put out a really high-quality end product. Even though I have a lot of help- editing, proofreading, cover design- in the end the final responsibility is all on me, as I’m the “publisher”. Self publishing requires that a person wear a lot of different hats, and so I’m learning a lot and being forced to grow in various painful ways. The publishing world is changing right now on a massive scale, and most of the things we were taught, as writers, about publishing are no longer true. Everything, at the moment, is new- and as a result there is no-one to mentor me, no-one or show me which way to go. There are, however, a lot of other writers figuring it out for themselves and creating really quality work, and sharing information about how to do this online. As a result I oscillate between feeling sorry for myself because I’m coming of age as a writer in a time when no large stable institutions are able to help me, and feeling unbelievably pumped and inspired because the gatekeepers are dead and there is absolutely no limit to what I can do or how awesome my work can be. There are good days and hard days.
A whole other game begins once my book is on Amazon. I get to “compete” with traditionally published works for visibility, which is no small job, and among other things I am guaranteed at least one scathing one-star review solely for using the F-word. This is a phenomenon that is unique, as far as I can tell, to Amazon. A friend and I once decided that this is because there’s a fold in the space/time continuum that allows folks in the nineteenth century to shop for books on Amazon. These people are so scandalized by swear words that they practically die of shock. They are hardly able to type. I’ll post the review here when I get it.
Overall, though, I’m just really excited to share this book. It’s like a little creature I’m releasing into the wild, and once I let it go I can never take it back. What is even going to happen?
And I can’t want to hike the CDT, and share it with you. I’m excited like whoa. The deserts of New Mexico, the wild San Juan mountains in Colorado, magical Wyoming and Idaho and Montana. I want to walk over all of these places with all of the inclement weather and sleep on the ground every night.
So excited about everything right now.
WOW. This campaign is already funded. I’m at a loss for words. I literally can’t believe that I get to hike the CDT AND fix my teeth. Like it literally seems unbelievable. Hopefully in a few hours this will seem more real! I set the campaign originally for 15 days, so anything over the original goal that’s raised in that time will go towards dried veggies and protein powder for my resupply boxes. And a new rain jacket. Thank you so much to everyone who’s followed my blog over the years, and helped make it possible for me to hike and write. You all have no idea! I’m really looking forward to writing about the CDT for you all. Let’s go hiking!!