I am up late tonight; or early depending on how you want to look at it. I am enjoying the company of one, of my two cats, as I sit here and try to clear my mind enough to fall back to sleep.
I just got done emailing my best friend. I had recently told her about my aspirations for next year’s thru hike on the AT. Although I wasn’t worried, I was glad to see that I had her support. She is a pretty avid hiker herself, along with her husband (who’s blog can be found here). I had mentioned the idea of her coming with me next year, but understood that not everyone has 5-6 months to just walk out of their life and into the mountains! She mentioned possibly doing a section with me but would have to wait and see if work would permit her to. Either way, her support is the better then anything!
Anyways back to why I am still awake. I seriously can’t get the idea of this trip out of my head. I think about it everyday. Whether I am reading other people’s blogs, following along in a Facebook group or reading a book about it (currently I am reading Becoming Odyssa which I will have a separate post for soon), I don’t find a day that goes by that the Appalachian Trial doesn’t cross my mind. It has become exciting and stressful and scary all at once!
This past weekend was like Christmas for me because REI was currently having it’s anniversary sale! I was planning on pickup up a couple smaller items but wound up buying my backpack! The guy at REI was extremely helpful with helping me try on and finding the right one. Once I decided on the one that fit the best (the Osprey Aura 65 AG women’s fit in a medium), he loaded it up with 30 pounds of weight and had me walk around the store for a bit. I felt like Cheryl Strayed with “Monster” on my back! Having the weight in the pack made it feel very, very real even though I was only inside the store! I also very quickly understood and appreciated the idea of trekking polls (which I am still learning about and trying to decide on the right ones for me).
Now my pack is at home, sitting in the corner of my make shift office. Sometimes I look at it and I am afraid of it! It is like a beacon of what is to come. It will be one of my most important items of gear. It will carry my housing, food, water, and clothing over the mountains and through the woods for months on end. If it doesn’t work with my body I won’t be able to work with the trail. It is connected to me and I am dependent on it. Ok maybe that’s a little too deep, but you get what I mean! In the next 10 months I will load it up and take it out for many trial runs. I hope that we will become good partners before this shit gets really real!
Well I think I have finally exhausted my mind enough to go back to sleep. I will have some more gear updates, book suggestions and other ideas that have been swirling around in my head posted soon. Here a few of the many other things swirling around in my head.
- how much money will I actually need on the trail; cash or plastic or both?
- buy a brand name footprint or make one that could be just as good and lighter?
- how many miles will I need to do a day?
- how often will I have cell phone service?
- how much food do I carry and how often do I send a resupply box?