-bring real food, maybe even a stove. I quickly got sick of junk food.
-don't use alloy spoke nipples. one broke in the back and I had to ride another 30+ miles without it helping any. I broke another earlier this summer, and they were both rear, non drive side outside spokes - the ones with the highest angle into the rim putting the worst forces on the nipple. I'll swap them all out for brass on this wheel - the 37 nanograms of weight savings just isn't worth the risk.
-car camping and relaxing short rides make a lot of sense
-there can be too much of a good thing......
-casual bikepack touring on moderate dirt roads with friends and less agenda sounds more fun.
-Based on my time for this section, I could probably finish the CTR, but also don't want to subject myself to that much condensed torture. Two days was enough.
EDIT to add a few more lessons I forgot about last night:
-The two bladder system worked well - while the betadine is purifying one, drink out of the other one. Leave the unpurified hose clipped to the back of the hydration pack until it is ready.
-Bring a normal bottle or nalgene. Drinking that much water out of a hose gets old.
-Flow rims instead of Arch rims are worth it on this trail. When you break a non drive side rear spoke nipple, and already run tight tire clearances with the frame, its nice to know at least you have a tough rim. There are millions of giant rocks and drop offs, and I'd rather pedal an extra 4 ounces of aluminum then push a lighter broken wheelset...... the extra tire width is nice too from the wider rims.
-I'm so glad I got over the whole rigid singlespeed thing. Fun for places groomed for bikes like Hartman Rocks and Fruita, but only for the true crazies in the High and Wild country.
-Getting air time on a loaded bike is so much fun. Thank you CTF trail crews for shaping those water bars into sweet jumps.
So, I'm glad I did it but it feels so good to stop.... it is good to push this hard occasionally.
then I hitch-biked back to Silverton, which took two rides after dark, then another bivy in the woods halfway there, then another ride down Wednesday morning. Then a friend met me and we did pretty much nothing, all day, except make breakfast burritos camping style, take a loooong nap, pick the mother lode of wild raspberries, then drive over Engineer Pass back to Lake City.
Tomorrow I move back to Grand Junction for year two of Mechanical Enginerd School for "fun" of a different sort - Calculus III, Statics, Materials Science, and General Chemistry, plus side jobs tutoring math and physics, wrenching as needed for Brown Cycles, and of course, sewing custom bike bags.