First, an Update
After last week’s debacle, I’d like to take a second to comment on my possible stress fracture scenario! After a few days of pain, most everything has gone back to normal! I think I have managed to avoid an actual fracture. Yay! The only remaining pain is an occasional ache in my right shin, which I think is exacerbated by my work schedule. 40 mandatory hours on my feet is not a great way to recover from an overuse injury. I think that if I had taken a little bit longer off of work I would be right as rain. But alas, I can’t really bring myself to bail out on almost 100 dollars a day. That being said, I see myself returning to the gym within the next week or two, and taking it much slower than before!
With only 10 weeks left until I begin my 2018 PCT NOBO, I have started to work down my list of all I have left to do before I leave. Looking back on it, I guess I briefly covered all the things that need to get done in my “What I’m Doing to Prepare” post. This post, however, will go a little bit more in-depth on all these. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who is terrible with things like deadlines. I will admit, I am a pure procrastinator. With only 73 days left between mile 1 and now, I am kind of reeling between “it can wait,” and “HOLY SHIT WHY ISN’T THIS DONE ALREADY??!!“
So, without further ado, I will face all the things that MUST get done before I leave for the trail.
I’ll fully admit that I messed up. A long time ago when I was reading the PCTA’s permit page, I looked over the Entry into Canada permit. It was during this skim-through, that I accidentally misread a very important piece of information. Your permit application should be turned in 6 months-8 weeks before the start of your hike. Upon reading this page again, I sat there completely dumbfounded feeling like a complete moron. I had previously read this vital piece of information as 6 months to 8 weeks before your entry into Canada. With only 10 weeks left, I am scrambling to get all the information together to submit my permit so I can finish the trail in Manning Park as I had planned.
Other than that major blunder throwing me into a nearly constant state of anxiety, all I have left is one permit: the California Campfire Permit. This permit has no time restraint, so at least that is a major load off, knowing I can procrastinate for as long as I need to. All that is required for this permit is that you take a quiz and then you can print off your permit and it is valid for one year. Seems easy enough to me.
It’s safe to say that an ID is a fairly vital piece of trail equipment. How else are you supposed to buy yourself a celebratory trail beer? While I already have an ID, it from my home state, Indiana. Seeing as I haven’t lived in Indiana for nearly 7 months, I figured it’s about time to make the move final. Besides that, I’m tired of bartenders giving me funny looks when I hand them my pretty pink ID. When we first moved to Michigan, someone even accused us of having fake licences. Suffice to say, that was a fun day. While I am getting a new ID, I also plan on updating my plates from Indiana to Michigan plates. Seeing as my tags expire in April anyway, it seems like a good thing to get taken care of now.
All that is left, then, is my passport. While I was looking into getting a passport, I found that there are actually two other options instead of getting the stereotypical passport book. There is the passport card and the enhanced drivers licence. Both are less expensive than the actual passport book, but they only allow you entry into and from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. Seeing as I don’t plan on going anywhere but Canada in the next few years, I am considering the card or the enhanced licence. I would love to get the enhanced licence, but you already need a valid MI licence to get the enhanced licence. I am hoping that a proof of residency is enough to be able to go straight to the enhanced license. If I can’t, I will probably just opt for the passport card.
This is pretty self explanatory. I need to get my taxes done before I leave for the trail so the IRS doesn’t come looking for me. This will be fun this year because I got married (yay!). My husband just finished his taxes and they were less-than-wonderful to deal with.
I think I’m weird. I actually really like going to the optometrist. To clarify, I know I’m weird. However, I think that going to a doctor of any kind is not the favorite activity of most people. Vision and eyes are really cool to me. I have worn contacts for nearly ten years, and I love them. I hated glasses, and when I finally got used to contacts it was kind of like getting part of my life back. For the entirety of my time wearing contacts, I have used daily disposable lenses. Talk about the epitome of comfort. And I like never having to worry about losing a contact or ripping one.
For my PCT hike though, I am planning on using 30-day continuous-wear contacts. They are specially made so they are capable of being worn for 30 straight days and nights. This means that I don’t have to go fishing around in my eyes every night with dirty hiker hands. Now, I definitely plan on carrying at least some contact solution and a lens case, so I can take out the lenses and sleep without them. This ensures that I am not at an increased risk of eye infection, which can still happen even with FDA approved extended-wear lenses. I will also have a back-up pair of contacts with me at all times, just to be safe.
So this is something that most people don’t think about. I honestly didn’t think about it until I read about it on a PCT page. Before you leave, you should alert your bank that you are going to be spending money for a long period of time on the other side of the country. Well, it’s the other side of the country for me, leastways. If you alert your bank about your travel plans, your credit/debit card won’t be put on hold for suspicious activity, leaving you SOL.
If you are unaware, I am planning on videoing my hike! YouTube videos really got me hyped for the trail and helped me figure things out in the beginning. I am planning on doing weekly uploads, as it gives the viewer a better look into trail life. This aspect was missing from more “feature length” PCT documentaries to me. I am currently working on putting together my channel and a few videos so that I can get into the swing of things. The plan is to send videos home to my husband via Dropbox, where he will edit and upload them. This blog will be, in essence, my trail journal while I’m hiking. I am also thinking about maybe setting up a Patreon page, but that is a solid maybe. I will be sure to post the channel here as soon as the first video is uploaded!
The last thing I have to do before leaving is to get all of my food together. After scouring what little information there was about being a hiking vegan, we have opted to send about 80% of my food in resupply boxes. Of this food, the majority of it is going to be home made, nutrient-dense meals to keep me full and fueled while out on the trail. This means, however, that I also need to spend a lot of time focused on cooking, dehydrating, and packaging my meals. Not to mention making lots of granola. LOTS. Of granola. This is all great news for my husband and roommate though, because it means more food for them. Sometimes all the food disappears before it reaches the dehydrator trays!
Other than making my own healthy trail food, I need to purchase all of the “pre-fabricated” foods that I will be using on the trail. Things like ProBars, nut butters, vegan ramen, backpacker meals, and Girl Scout cookies (did you know Thin Mints are vegan?! I bought 40 dollars worth of cookies for the trail!). Anything that I have decided will be nourishing my hiker bod that I don’t have to physically make. The last step is to then get all the addresses and boxes together so that it’s easy for my husband to throw a stellar resupply box together.
Not A Lot Left
The clock is ticking down. And to be honest, looking through this, it doesn’t nearly feel as daunting. The trail is approaching faster than I’d expected and I am a mix of anxious and super excited. One thing is sure, when April 20th comes, I’ll be ready to hit the trail running!
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