Things have really picked up around here, hiking wise. I’ve got everything I need (and more). We have made plans to slackpack the first week of our trip, and have made hotel reservations for our partners (who are kind enough to take time off work to drive us around!). I have come up with the perfect after-dinner dessert (equal parts vanilla protein mix + nesquik) and have made a list of 46 dinners to dehydrate and/or assemble.
I am going to try to do mail drops for meals – at least for the first half of the trip. We will be coming home for a few weeks in June – OWL had a already-paid-for vacation planned – and so that will be plenty of time to figure out what I want to do for the second half. The plan, as it looks right now, is oatmeal (homemade with chocolate chips, peanut butter powder, and coconut cream powder) for breakfast. Snacks (gorp, honey wafers, goo bars*, cheez-its) through lunch. Hot meal for dinner.
*goo bars are a special combination of peanut butter, bacon grease, chocolate chips, evaporated milk, coconut flakes, and dried fruit. Basically a homemade energy bar. They are delicious!
Most of the planning left is making the meals (so all Em. has to do is assemble the mail drop boxes), and figuring out where they should be sent to. Sort of waiting on the 2013 guide to get here. (I’m using AWOL’s guide because I like the elevation profiles).
I had a moment of panic this morning. I’ve 4 days off this past week, and have been basically piddling around the house the whole time. Went urban hiking (with backpack) one day and put up the tent in cold and wind – just to practice. Have fiddled with my gear a little bit, and went walking today for a few hours. Other than that I have just been lounging…it has been wonderful! But I did have a moment of doubt. Is hiking from GA to ME really what I want to do? Couldn’t I do something more … comfortable with my brave new world? Like maybe go teach English in Costa Rica, or learn to surf or something? What am I doing??
The reality of it is – I want to hike. Part of why I want to hike is purely the challenge of the trail. Am I strong enough – mentally and physically? What will I learn about myself, from myself? How will I handle being cold and wet and exhausted when my sleeping pad decides to spring a leak? (I know, I know, don’t speak it into truth). The truth is – I don’t know. That’s part of the challenge. I want to learn how to rely on little to nothing. I want to prove to myself that I can finish what I start. I need some time to re-evaluate my career. I need to refocus on being awesome, instead of just focusing on being awesome at my job.
I know that it will be hard, but I also know that I can do it. I am not attempting a thru hike. I am thru hiking. I think there’s a difference.
I wrote my letter of resignation last night. Maybe my moment of panic has more to do with that than anything else.