If I have to, I can do it alone

Eight weeks until departure, and naturally, things can’t stay simple. For reasons that are none of your beeswax, Rocky’s participation in the hike is on the fence. On the wrong side of a very tall fence.

While my original original plan was to thru-hike alone, Rocky entered the picture and changed my vision of the hike. Once we started seriously planning together, I was hard-pressed to imagine doing it alone.

When this potential plan-changer comes up in conversation, people gasp, flutter their eyelashes, and (after asking if I’m bringing a gun) say: “Well, you wouldn’t do it alone, would you?” The answer is yes, I will absolutely do it alone. I supplement my answer with bravado-filled guffaw, like “Well now I just need a one-person tent.” And then rapidly change the subject. In reality, planning to do this solo, so late in the game, is daunting.

Rocky is in all of my imagined scenarios on the trail. Trying to rewire my brain is tough—I picture myself flying into Atlanta at midnight on March 3rd… alone. Plowing up the side of a snow covered mountain… alone. Blowing up a shelter because I still can’t work my propane stove… alone.

I know I’m being paranoid and ridiculous. Even if Rocky doesn’t hike, I will rarely be totally solo. March 3 is an early start date, but there will be seldom be time that I am entirely by myself. Also, the number of tough-as-nails women who solo the AT, the PCT, and the CDT are growing each year. They are inspirational and badass.

I’m not scared of creeps, bears, or banjos. What makes this so daunting is the thought of facing a huge challenge alone—one that I thought I was doing with a partner, who I will be missing terribly. There’s a chance Rocky can still go, in which case, I’ll probably come back here and delete this post. Fingers crossed.

On another note, I weighed my pack. Even with all my winter crap, my base weight is 23.4 pounds. I’m sure ultra-lighters are cringing and experiencing phantom lower-back spasms, but I’m extremely happy with anything under 25 pounds.

As for training, I joined an expensive gym, thinking if I paid more than my rent for a membership, I might actually work out. Motivation… starts… soon?

Related reading: 6 Reasons to Thru-Hike Alone

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