It is always good to have something to look forward to, but I think we are all tired of looking forward to Spring this year.  I’m even looking forward to shaving off the winter whiskers if only Winter would actually go away.  Despite the extended forecast calling for more frigid, time is marching on.  Spring may not be here yet, but we don’t have any more time to wait on it.  If we don’t get started now we won’t have enough time to get up to speed for Summer.

Cycling season is definitely taking a hit this year.  The first time trial is only 3 weeks away and I’m betting I’m not the only one who hasn’t been out riding yet.  You can only train so much in the basement because hills and wind can’t be properly simulated.  It will be interesting to see how many folks even show up and just how out of shape we all are.

One thing I have been able to get outside to start practicing is carrying a heavy pack.  I have the Kelty external frame loaded up with 50 pounds of training weight and have been doing laps around the block a few times now.  Last year I relied too heavily on cycling to get into shape.  The first trip on trail I really noticed that there are some muscles in the legs that may not be used for cycling but really are needed to carry a pack.  This year, especially with the LT plan for the Fall, I’m cross training from the start.

Lots of other preparations under way as well.  The Baxter reservations have been made for a trip with the TX boys in July.  I have been doing this same loop for the last few years, but with different people each time.  It never gets old climbing Katahdin and then heading off into the back country away from the flocks of peak baggers and AT finishers.

I also ordered my LT guides and map from the Green Mountain Club this week.  Not sure I really needed the End To Enders Guide which details the towns and services available along the trail since my plan is to stay on trail the whole time, but they were still running their Spring special of the trail guide, the E2E guide and the map for $30.  I figured if nothing else it will give my wife a chance to read about all the places we might visit when we do this trail together in a few years.

Other plans are still coming together for the season.  Pretty sure there will be at least one trip on the Grafton Loop again this year and I’d really like to start exploring the Pemigewasset Wilderness in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  That area is well known for its high loops but there are some creeks on the eastern side that I’m betting will be less traveled and may even have some fish in them.

Still a little time left for planning and dreaming it would seem since they say we may have another big snow next week after the little one this weekend.  That doesn’t mean we can afford to be sitting around too much though.  Better to start moving more now to get ready to move more later is my plan.

My daughter does her part to help.  She led my wife and I out the door yesterday on what I thought was going to be a walk around the block.  I tossed on the 50 pound pack thinking it would be a nice chance to work on those pack muscles.  Then she proceeded to lead us down the road, into the woods and all the way down to the river through soft mushy snow.  I was definitely feeling those pack muscles, but that girl is smart.  She knows Daddy is going to need strong legs this Summer for family trips.  Best to get me whipped into shape so when she is ready I’ll be able to carry her loads on the path less traveled by


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