Sunday, March 25, 2012

Prepping for a Dream

So I am trying out something new... writing and reflecting on an adventure about to start in one month exactly from today. In the midst of finishing up work I have been preparing to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail this year. It is amazing the plans we make, and mine are out there but at times realistic. Well welcome reality because in just a few weeks I will be putting on my pack and heading north to walk 2, 650 miles from Mexico to Canada.

Planning so far has been somewhat casual and has consisted of picking up gear here and there that I need, but the metal preparation has been the most challenging. I don't know if you can ever fully prepare and imagine what is to come as long. All that matters is if I can handle every challenge that comes my way. This hike is a dream of mine and I cannot wait for the journey.

My friend Lena and I decided last year in April that we would thru-hike the PCT together in 2012. It's comforting knowing that I have a friend with the same ambitions to complete a similar goal. We are completely independent gear wise from each other but I know that we can be dependable partners venturing north. I have never been with one person for such a long period of time, since this trip will take more or less 5 months, and it will be a whirlwind of experiences and emotions. She is a strong hiker and I cannot wait to see how our friendship will evolve.

As of right now I am in a... 'holy crap this is really happening' phase. Up until now it's been months away, 'I have plenty of time' and now it's just a few weeks away. I started packing my bag for the first time on Friday just to figure out my base weight. Many people who post on other forums like facebeook that are hiking the PCT seem to have it all dialed in. I love to plan ahead and know what is to come, but with a trip like this, I feel like there is only so much you can plan. As long as I have the gear I need, my health and the strong intrinsic drive which is absolutely overwhelming right now, I feel as though everything else will just work out.

This week is my last week of work at a place where I've taught outdoor science for the last two years. It has been an amazing home and I am sad to leave. I'll be back up in this area after three weeks of hiking, but being here as a visitor will be a crazy sensation since I've called this home for so long. It will be really hard to say goodbye to the people I work with. I have made some amazing friendships and have fallen in love here. That love and friendship will continue of course after but it does really all come down to the effort you put into it to make them continue. Because we all live this transient lifestyle and we love moving even if it means we have to say goodbye, I love knowing that I will have friends all over that I can visit again. I can't even imagine the emotions I will feel the day I leave but I can't wait to hike through here and see all their ridiculous, quarky faces again. The HT family I have is unlike any other community I have lived in before. I don't know if you could ever find more love in one area in the middle of the woods.

So here it goes, one month until I have to say goodbye to one place to prep and move every single day for five months. I am ready to get my body moving and push myself mentally, physically, and emotionally every day. I am ready to meet other like minded, or unlike minded people that have a similar goal of mine. I am ready to see new places that I have never ventured to before. I am ready to start this journey.