Less than four weeks yikes
Things are looking up on the Rocky front, but we won’t know if he’ll be able to go until days before our March 3rd departure. Speaking of March 3rd, I recently thumbed through my horses-and-inspirational-quotes calendar, which accusingly informed me that my days in Bozeman were down to 27. So yeah… training. I had good intentions—really I did. I was skate skiing and hiking on snowy trails until about a month ago, when the snow cover in southwest Montana straight up melted.
We had three weeks of 45-degree sunny days that would make even the most staunch conservatives admit that perhaps maybe global warming might kinda sorta be like a real thing. The north-facing trails turned to slick ice chutes, the south-facing trails turned to treacherous mudslides, and the snow vanished from the cross-country ski areas. Yes, I still have an overpriced gym membership, but I only use it to shower because the water pressure is good.
I’m full of excuses and I realize it, but training really fell by the wayside a few weeks ago, when Rocky and I were forced to leave our house and move into his parent’s house. We have the whole bottom floor to ourselves, and I’m eternally grateful for their assistance, but the shock of it put a halt to my basic functioning. To be fair, this move was a direct result from our insane ex-roommate threatening us with a handgun, locking us out of the house, and other traumatic occurrences that should be a solid warning to never find a roommate on Craigslist.
Athletics aside, I’ve been training in other ways! My showering is infrequent at best, and I’ve been eating a lot of gas station food. Those will be common experiences on the AT, so I’ll totally be prepared for smelling bad and eating chicken fingers from Town Pump.
People are all: “WHAT YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TRAINING?” And I’m like, “No… and I don’t have a sassy comeback so (please) shut up.” Rocky and I are doing an overnight hike next weekend, so I’ll decide if I really need a buff plus a hat, and maybe I’ll be able to finally convince Rocky that his 30-degree bag isn’t warm enough.
On the bright side, gear stuff and mail drops are done—I’ve prepped three food drops for resupply-sparse areas, and I have all of my extra shoes and warm-weather stuff boxed and ready to be shipped to us on the trail. Have any of you ever crushed ramen and pasta sides into Ziplock bags? It’s so fun.
That’s all sugarpies. With all of the over-the-top drama from the past few months, I can hardly believe I’ll be on a plane to Atlanta in less than a month. New strategy: start slow, low mileage.
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With your early start, you should really consider your cold weather gear. It can be very cold and snowy in the Smokies. My water bottle that I slept with was fine, the one outside my sleeping bag was frozen solid. My boots were frozen solid and extremely hard to put on. The snowing and snow covered trails were magical.