The Final Countdown
4 Days Before
Why did I set my last day of work to be the day before my flight? One would have expected me to end on a Friday, not a Monday. That would have been the smart thing to do, allowing for last-minute prep. Not me. I need to get that last paycheck in, definitely regret that one. I get home around 6 pm and scramble around until 1 am doing all the things I’ve left ’til the end; cleaning the room for my tenant, final packing, cleaning out the fridge, attempting (and failing) to load up my new mp3 player with music, and finally setting out every piece of gear I have and repacking it.
3 Days Before
Exhausted, I wake up early around 6 am in order to wrap up the last things I couldn’t do the night before (pack up my bedding and double-check the room is ready for my renter). The flight is at 9:40 am so that doesn’t leave much time, but I get it all done.
It’s a relief and at the same time quite unnerving to be leaving my house for the last time for 6 months. I stop by Chick-fil-A for my last opportunity to have it for 6 months and pick up my sister (joining me to drop me off at the trailhead). We drive over to my dad’s, where I drop off a few last items (including my car), snap a quick pic of my resupply set up in his spare room, and get picked up by my roommate for the drive to the airport.
It’s so strange to be at the airport again after 15 months. Even being vaccinated, I’m anxious to be around so many people. It turns out Dallas has a Chick-fil-A too, so lunch was actually my last Chick-fil-A for 6 months. Arriving in San Diego was a bit of a high, with the hike feeling more and more real. We spotted a few other thru-hikers at baggage claim, but being the introvert I am, I kept to myself. The rest of the day was spent exploring the city.
2 days before
We went whale watching but saw no whales. We spotted loads of birds, sea lions, and the highlight was the dolphins. No regrets, it was a lovely morning. Then we few errands for last-minute items I needed: fuel canister, lighter, and the wet wipes I forgot. We enjoyed a 1/2 price bottle of wine special, some shake shack, and went to bed early as we haven’t adjusted to the time.
1 day before
We did a few more touristy things: a walk on the beach and visited Balboa Park. Then more items on my to-do list. With each item on my to-do list that I check off, I can feel the stress going away. It’s a pretty great feeling. As those stress levels go down the feeling of anticipation rises. We drop off my first 3 resupplies at the post office (savings of about $30 by having them in my checked bag with my gear), I signed up for health insurance, and finally figured out how to load music on to my mp3 player. Now I just need to figure out how to test my inReach Mini (regret leaving that one until the end), but that will wait till the morning.
Next post will be from trail!
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