♬♫♪♩ My Bags are Packed I’m Ready to Go ♩♪♫♬

Wow – What an effort, here I thought I had everything ready but those final checks and finishing touches took hours upon hours. I am now happy to report my bags are packed and I’m ready to go ( ♫♪ insert hours of out-of-tune singing and humming here ♪♫ ).

My day clothes and hiking gear laid out across a hotel bed, Upper right corner: gear neatly packed into my pack – sneakers for scale. (Before you yell at me, the deodorant is not coming in that big container, but I took about 1/2 the stick and shoved it into a tiny bag – I do not like the smell of underarm odor and will try to fight that for as long as I can.)

Resupply Boxes: A Glamorous Toiletry Tale

In my attempt to be the ultimate Boy Scout (or should I say Girl Scout?), I may have gone a tad overboard with packing. I ended up preparing a couple of potential resupply boxes to be shipped to me along the way. And no, they aren’t filled with tasty snacks (although I did sneak in a little candy for some emergency joy). These boxes are more like toiletry lifesavers, containing everything from vitamins and OTC meds to dental care and first aid supplies. I even threw in a few spice/flavor bags to spice things up (pun absolutely intended)!

The details:

In case you are wondering – As for the rest of the stuff in the boxes, you’ll find a whole mishmash of goodies. Vitamins galore (multi, D3, fish oil), a selection of OTC meds (Excedrin, cold meds, cough drops), everything I need for my pearly whites (floss sticks, retainer cleaning tabs), a collection of toiletries (TP, q-tips, dry wipes), and a first aid kit (Band-Aids, Neosporin).  Finally, I packed a third box with things I ‘might’ need – with the idea that the sender can add these to the open boxes before sending them out.

Now, full disclosure, I’m totally winging it here. I’m a newbie at this whole long-distance hiking thing, so if you decide to follow my lead, be warned, I don’t know what I am doing either. So follow me at your own potential peril.


Logistics: The Ballet of Drop-Offs and Hotel Stays

Alright, let’s get real about the nitty-gritty details of prepping for this epic journey! Tomorrow’s the big day, Drop-Off Day – the day I bid adieu to some of my old stuff by schlepping it off to a storage unit. Sayonara, random knick-knacks! And let’s not forget the ceremonial farewell to my car and those pre-packed supply boxes, because I’ll be far too busy conquering mountains to worry about excess baggage. After handling all that, it’s off to an airport hotel to kick back and relax before the real action begins.

I’ve got my trusty backpack stuffed into a beat-up old suitcase that’s seen better days. Seriously, this thing has more patches than a quilt and I can’t wait to ditch it. As for my carry-on, forget fancy luggage – I’m rolling into the terminal with a groovy Trader Joe’s grocery bag. Practical AND stylish, people!

Arriving in Scent-less Style

Oh, and let’s not overlook my fabulous travel wardrobe strategy. I’ll be sporting some well-loved, on-the-verge-of-retirement outfits for the plane ride and the overnight stay. Once I jet off from Atlanta to Amicalola Falls State Park, those clothes are hitting the trash can at the hotel. And don’t even get me started on my beloved slippers that are practically begging to be put out to pasture. Yup, I’ll be strutting my stuff around the hotel in those bad boys like I’m on a runway in Milan. Who says hiking prep can’t be a fashion show, right? Really, I just don’t want to be stinky at the start, it’s going to be hard enough.

Feeling the Feels: Butterflies Galore!

And now, the million-dollar question: How am I feeling, you ask? Well, in a word, butterflies. Oh, the butterflies in my stomach are fluttering like there’s no tomorrow. The panic attacks decided to join the party about three weeks ago, just to make sure I wasn’t getting too comfortable. They started to fade, but then, like a bad penny, returned stronger than ever. I’ve woken up in the middle of the night, heart racing, more times than I can count. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, my friends. Excited, terrified, happy, scared. A wild mixture, indeed.

But hey, these moments of panic are part of the adventure. You can’t have a journey of a lifetime without a few heart palpitations along the way. It’s all part of the charm. Plus, once I put on my hiking boots and hit the trail, I’ll have a whole new round of panic to keep me on my toes.

I also cannot have the journey of a lifetime without sushi. So I’ve indulged. Frankly unless it is an AYCE sushi restaurant I will not be able to afford to satiate my hiker hunger with sushi.

Thoughts: The Trail, The Myth, The Legend

Let’s talk about this trail, shall we? I know it’s going to be tough, but oh boy, will it be rewarding. Crossing my fingers and toes that I am among that lucky 25% who make it to Katahdin. After the first couple of weeks, they say it becomes more of a mental challenge than a physical one. And let me tell you, there are so many hikes along this trail that I’ve always dreamt of doing. Franconia Notch, Katahdin, Mt. Washington, McAfee Knob (which I just drove past and had to resist the urge to hike, for future me’s sake). I even drove through Shenandoah National Park last week and stared longingly at the trail, but didn’t dare step foot on it. I didn’t want to be swept away by the call of the wild just yet.

Alas, ny willpower was no match for the temptation of Deli Blazing in NJ. Ahh, the joy of sinking my teeth into a classic pork roll (err. Taylor Ham) and egg sandwich nestled in an everything bagel – pure bliss!

And now, here I am, on the precipice of the journey of a lifetime. A wild ride awaits, full of new experiences and opportunities. I can feel the trail calling my name, and my eyes are dilating in anticipation. It’s time to embark on this incredible adventure that I’ll remember forever. The journey of a lifetime awaits!

And just like that, in a few days I will begin my Northbound thru-hike on the 2,197.4-mile Appalachian Trail and I cannot wait!

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Comments 5

  • Diane : Mar 6th

    Hi Caroline, I loved your post. I hope I see you on the trail!

  • Reno Ron : Mar 6th

    Happy Trails! Warm, dry, fed, and hydrated. Do you do caffeine? Ibuprofen? Anyway, hope you make some friends on the hike. It’s a long one, duh, and a little encouragement goes a long way. Looking forward to your posts every few days! And pics! Ok, have fun, avoid injuries, and stay strong. YOU CAN DO IT!!!

  • Professor Jellybean : Mar 6th

    Woohoooooooooo! I’ve followed your posts from the beginning, Caroline, and love them. (I thought I commented before but apparently it didn’t stick.) So excited for you to start your big adventure! Can’t wait to read all about it! You got this.

  • Richard Martinelli : Mar 6th

    Happy for you, enjoy

  • Debbie Dalrymple/SeaEagle : May 24th

    Hi Caroline!
    I’m reading your posts with fascination.
    You really are an over comer!
    Re:the hypothyroid and b12 issues. Have you considered trying holistic treatments?
    There are supplements containing bovine thyroid extract which I have used with success. Don’t know if I have an ongoing thyroid issue, but this stuff has worked for me twice when the tsh got elevated.
    I don’t have b12 issues, but I know there are sublingual forms of b12 that go directly into the bloodstream. Can be gotten at health food stores or online.
    I did the trail in sections over a period of years, so reading your posts always brings back memories.
    Keep going!


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