State of the Hike: 1 week edition
One week. Seven days. 164 hours, and I’ll be standing at the US-Mexico border, wondering what the hell I was thinking when I decided to walk this beast.
California got some much-needed rain (and thunder & lightning here in the Bay Area!) last week, dumping snow in the mountains and greening up the hills a touch. I decided to stick with my original start date anyway, so now it’s official:
Come snow or drought, I’ll be taking my first steps on this journey on April 13th.
Done done done
I spent 80 hours since my last update in an intensive wilderness medicine course (see below). During that 10 day stretch, I commuted over to the Presidio in SF using BART, my bike (Trogdor the LHT was grateful for the exercise), and a lovely carpool of fellow Oaklander classmates. Each day, I was hard pressed to stay awake past 9 pm, and I passed out dead on the couch more nights than not. It was wearying, and invigorating. I loved it.
Over the week since finishing the WFR class, I’ve been chugging through my remaining tasks:
To finalize up gear and acquire skills:
- attended (& passed) a WMI-NOLS Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course
- bought tarp poles to give me more campsite options in the high desert
- picked up little bottles to refill with Aqua Mira or bleach
- picked up extra memory cards for the camera, and a couple memory card readers
- found a nice softcover journal for my trail diary
- found stickers to make my maildrop boxes stand out from the herd (bright green & stars)
- decided to use my friend’s bear canister (Garcia) that I’d already borrowed for last year’s JMT (thanks Pat!)
Towards food & resupply:
- adjusted 3000 & 4000 calorie food plans (removed undesired foods)
- bought 30 days of food and first aid resupplies
- repacked bulk snacks into ziplocs
- decided the first maildrop location: Warner Springs
On the logistics front:
- arranged to visit and stay with family & friends in LA and San Diego next weekend
- decided if/how to blog from the trail
- tested the SPOT device
- got a haircut and had my eyebrows threaded — gotta give it room to grow on the trail, eh?
Get it done. NOW.
Of course, I still have one or two boxes to check off for the hike:
- load my food bag with 5 days of food to see what a typical carry will be like
- load my pack with 10 days of food to simulate the Sierra carry
- decide between the ÜLA Circuit and MLD Burn packs (leaning towards Burn, baby, Burn)
- mail the first resupply box, and fill second box (with Russell)
- collect the names & contact info of all the lovely friends and family who offered to help me out along the trail (or climb mountains — I’m looking at you, Farren!)
- make list of all resupply locations for Russell to use when mailing
- break up my maps into sections for maildrops
- audit and refill my first aid kit
- spend a day practicing with the tarp and new tarp poles
- spend an hour learning where various settings are on my camera
- order a new debit card to replace the one I left in a bar during Art Murmur (le sigh)
- get my teeth cleaned (Tuesday)
- create accounts for Russell on this blog & social media so he can update while I’m gone
Then there’s the non-hike logistics to take care of before I leave town for 4 months:
- quality time with Russell
- see friends & family
- enjoy civilization, hot water, my soft bed
- tell banks & credit card companies of my traveling
- set bills to auto-pay or forward to Russell
- PAY TAXES
- empty all purses & bags so I don’t leave anything rotting for 4 months
- more quality time with Russell
- set up auto-response on email accounts, voicemail
And last, but never least:
- take some deep breaths, enjoy these last few days, and remember that it will all be okay.
It will, in all likelihood, be awesome.
Very inspiring to read about your preparations. Good luck with everything!
I’m so excited for your journey, and yes enjoy your last few days, but you are incredible so I know all of this will be a challenge you can conquer!
Thanks Meg! Your support is really encouraging for me. *big hugs*