A Few Days Before the Hike
Time is flying by!
Last Saturday I packed up our RV and my husband, pug mix Vivian and I hopped on I10 and left the Florida panhandle. We are Campo, California bound for the start of my PCT voyage. We’ve made a few stops along the way, we can’t pass Houston without making a hard right for Tex-Mex or go through Hill Country and not break for brisket! We ate our way through Texas and made it to Tucson, Az where we parked our new RV for the first time in an RV park. I’m not sure you could call this an RV park however, it’s more of a summer camp for senior citizens. Tucson is a perfect last stop though, it is home to Saguaro National Park, has an REI for last-minute gear, and has a decent selection of Chinese food. Tomorrow we are leaving this dreamy easy bake oven to head further into the wild west, by late afternoon we will arrive at a KOA near Campo. I’ll have a day to find everything I tightly packed away and then it’s off to the races! Well, I’ll be going turtle pace until I find my hiking legs and confidence but you get the idea.
Saguaro National Park Moon Rise
This past November I decided to make it my mission to hike the entirety of the PCT. I’ll go into detail later on what lit my fire but for now, I’ll give you my plan and generally what I’ve done to prepare. My husband Parker, an amazing human and my favorite travel buddy will be taking our RV alongside me for the duration of my hike. I’ll be meeting him at road crossings for supplies, kisses, and hugs. In the beginning, I’ll probably go back to our RV and take more days off and shower. We are new to the RV world and we both think this tank is excessive for just us two and Vivian but we got a great deal and it’s conducive to our plans for now. It’s a 2017 40 ft Newmar Ventana with a Honda CRV attached so it will be an Easter egg hunt to find a place to park it. For anyone who will have a rubber tramper (RV support) following along and would like to know more about Parker’s experience let me know.
I come prepared, sort of…
I prepared myself mentally by renovating and selling 5 of our rental properties in the last 6 months. Ever brought a house down to the studs? It’s not exciting or inspiring like HGTV, it’s nerve-wracking like Squid Games. It was more of a test of sanity than a mental workout. I’ll let you know how that mental fatigue hits on trail.
I prepared my temple or “meat suit” by just good ol’ walking and a couple of intense yoga classes for 3 hours a week. I wanted to hike but I only had a few trips where I was able to get day hikes in. In lieu, I walked around the bay by my house once or twice a day which rounded to 8 or 16 miles at about 3 times a week for 2.5-3 months. There is a little hill or two in there but it’s Florida and pretty flat. I sprained my ankle in January and now I do my ABCs with my ankles as soon as I wake up if I remember. This will be a suffer-fest for me I’m sure, but you find yourself in suffering and that’s one of my reasons for being out there.
Instead of soul searching, I ended up searching my way through Amazon and scouring the internet trying to self-soothe by buying the most featherweight gear I could set my sights on. I also decided to meal prep my breakfast. Consequently, I ordered way too much shit. Somewhere in mid-February I panicked and bought nearly all new gear. I drank the ultralight kool-aid and turned a new OCD leaf I never knew I had in me. If I had more time to egg myself on, I’m sure a breast reduction and shaved head would be on the weight chopping block. I have made weighing everything on a kitchen scale and researching every packed item a sport. My home turned into an Amazon box jungle. It was like a drunk suburban housewife was let loose in Target for Christmas shopping. As I looked at my house and thought maybe I should just burn it to the ground I realized the truth. No amount of expensive ultralight Walmart bag-like material items could soothe my fears. I was and still am scared shitless because I don’t think I’m prepared. Truthfully, I never will be. The perfect time to throw myself to the wolves and surrender to the magical experience of thru-hiking is right now, or according to the PCTA permit system, it’s on Sunday 3/20/22.
Patience and Baby Steps
In all of my unpreparedness yet still cautiously over preparedness (I have two Sawyer squeeze’s just in case one malfunctions), I will somehow hoof it to Canada. That $350 pack might be nice but 2 extra pounds wouldn’t have broken me. I can meal prep the shit out of the next year even and I won’t have control. I can get back on the stair climber but in the end, I can train out there, I’ll just suffer a little more. I can beat myself up for being a 175 lb butterball and crawl into a hole. Orrrr I can think I’m built like a brick shit house and these thunder thighs will take me around the world. For now, I’m taking a leap of faith by getting out there but the baby steps after will bring me to Canada.
If you’re interested in seeing how my journey unfolds I’ll keep it real and share anything I find helpful for the next hiker. I’ll be posting things like a lighterpack link later on. I’m on IG as ts.tevis for those of you that would like a visual follow along.
Live Long and Hike,
Taylor S. Tevis
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