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.