Pre-Day Hike #1

Pre-Day Hike #1

Around two or three years ago I was having a conversation with a few co-workers. I expressed how I would love to be able to walk across the country, and oh how neat it would be to get back to nature. During this conversation I learned about the Pacific Crest Trail. I could not believe that there was a trail that stretch from the Southern tip of California all the way to Canada. I Googled the trail, researched Youtube videos, and I was amazed. Some months into finding all I could about the PCT, I came across the Appalachian Trail, and I was sold. The AT started in Georgia, my home state and went to Maine. So from that day forward I set out trying to find a team of willing comrades brave enough to spend six glorious months out doors in nature. I was passionate and sold the idea of living outdoors to the very best of my ability. I ran across a lot of people who said, “Yes, that sounds like fun!” That was a couple of years ago.

Sitting here today, my team consists of my two unsuspecting dogs, a good friend, and me. I am planning my trip with the realization that my good friend may drop off the dream team. Leaving just the dogs and me. Which is okay with me. I have researched the trail. I have found that several women have completed the trail solo. The AT has a pretty good safety rating, given the number of people that travel it every year. I’ve also heard that because there is not much to do, people on the trail pay attention to what they see. I think as long as my suburban dogs don’t go trying to pick a fight with a bear I will be pretty good.

The real truth is after today’s day hike it may just be me, myself, and I. I have a one-year-old German Shephard, Duke, who is actually my brother’s dog. He loves to walk; I’m not worried about his endurance or fortitude. It’s my adorable seven-month-old pit bull puppy, Desmond. He is a very active dog, but he dislikes, with a strong passion, organized walking on a leash. He will drop to the ground with all four legs stretched out and crawl on his belly to protest his dislike. I have put this walk off for months because I thought he was behaving in this manner because he was a young puppy. However, this is not the case, he just wants to do what he wants to do and that is that.

So today I will be traveling to Raven Cliff Falls Trail. It is a 5.1-mile trail with a waterfall and beautiful scenery. I will be trying out some of my new gear for the first time. I will be carrying the Kelty TraiLogic pack. I purchased this bag and the Gregory Cairn 58; I really want to like the Kelty because it has so many compartments to keep you organized. However, it is a smaller bag so I will have to really focus on what I pack and utilize my space properly. I will be breaking in a pair of new Merrell trail hiking shoes, along with lightweight socks. I will be wearing the REI’s convertible pants. I have not purchased any shirts for the trip yet, so I will wear what I can find in my closet. My packing list is still incomplete so I am going to fill my bag with 30lbs of miscellaneous gear just to practice with the weight.

The hardest part of any journey is taking the first step, so here we go.


Teresa Dawson

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