Sleep is Overrated

This is my second morning in a row of waking up at 4 a.m.  I lie there in the dark for a while, trying to shut off my mind so I can get back to sleep, but after about 1/2 an hour of this, I give up and get out of bed.

Oh…well hello there anxiety!

I have spent the last year physically preparing for a long-distance hike – I’ve bought guidebooks and studied them obsessively, planned out my resupplies, purchased enough new gear to rival REI, dehydrated hundreds of dollars of food (50 bags of groceries = about one bag after dehydration…), studied other people’s journals, watched videos, read books, trained with a full backpack, and driven everyone I know crazy with my PCT obsession.

But how does one mentally prepare to leave the family they love, the comforts of their home, all the familiar, safe routines to set out on a difficult, long journey full of unknowns?  Zach’s book has been wonderful in helping to prepare for many aspects of this, but the one area that has been most difficult for me is leaving my family behind.

I have a strategy to cope with my impending homesickness.  The largest aspect of my strategy was that I switched from hiking the A.T. to hiking the PCT – makes sense as I live in California, so now I am closer to home and my partner can visit me on the trail more easily.  I am also bringing my cell phone for texts/phone calls when I have a signal.

The second important part of my strategy is to keep a positive frame of mind and know that the trail will end at some point and I will be coming home.

With that being said, I am still dealing with a wide range of emotions – excitement (I can’t believe it’s almost here!), fear (what am I getting myself into?  what if I have to camp by myself in the woods?), sadness (leaving my partner and six cats at home), and anxiety (do I have everything I need?  what if I screwed up my resupply and have to go hungry?  what if I forget my maps?  I don’t even know what all the functions are on my Suunto watch are yet!).

It’ll all be okay.

Ivan says “Quit yer whining and get out there!”

I leave in 3 days for the Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick-Off (ADZPCTKO) where I will spend several days attending seminars, meeting my fellow PCT hikers, and settle those butterflies before my long journey.

The desert is in bloom!

My next post will be from the Pacific Crest Trail.  With any luck, I will be so exhausted by my insomnia that I will sleep like a baby.

But somehow I doubt it…


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