From VA to PA to GA
Since the last time I wrote a blog entry (in October… Whoops), I have graduated with my Masters from UVA (go hoos!), moved all my stuff home, and spent much time prepping and packing. I’ve spent some time outside trail running and hiking despite the fairly cold VA weather. (If Roy who I met hiking out of Rockfish Gap sees this, this is the right Olivia!)
I also dehydrated a few meals and packed some lovely USPS boxes to ship to myself periodically. Mostly to towns where resupplies are notoriously bad. Thanks to nuun for some awesome product sponsorship as well! Review coming soon.
What’s Going On Now
Recently I have been spending more time thinking about my mental preparation for the trail. I leave in a few days for Amicalola and the forecast for my start date is 100% rain/thunderstorms all day. That’s a real bummer but you know what? Whatever. Rain is a trail reality. I’m not too worried about starting my hike with adverse weather. I will be dealing with less than ideal weather for the next 5+ months anyway. Why not get used to it ASAP?
I’ve also been thinking a lot about why I want to hike the trail. I’ve been so busy the past few months I was just focusing on getting to this point but now that I’m here I feel the need to reflect. It’s strange that I no longer live in Charlottesville which was my home for almost the past 3 years. I’m leaving all my friends and family behind to be dirty hiker trash, walk in the mountains everyday, and eat awful food from a tiny pot. From the outside, it doesn’t sound super pleasant. But as many hikers have said before, I kind of just feel like I have to do it.
Jenn Pharr Davis gave a talk at Crozet Running last week. (If you live near C-ville, you have to go there. The Andersens are amazing people who sell great products.) Jenn spoke about her time hiking the trail and setting the speed record. At one point she was telling a story about getting lost on Mt. Washington in a storm, hiking off trail, and becoming hypothermic. Serious stuff. Apparently someone approached her during her record hike and obnoxiously said “Are you even having fun?”. Jenn, who had hiked 40 miles already that day, replied “No, I’m not having fun, but I think this might be better than fun.” And I think that quote really made me realize why I want to hike. To find something better than fun.
See you on the trail soon!
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