Yes, I’m ready!
I’ve been trying to talk soothingly to the legion of butterflies in my stomach in order to calm them down. Yes, I’m ready. They flutter on, not convinced that I know what I’m talking about.
Ready to leave?
Yes, I’m ready. I hope. I’ve spent the past week spending time with amazingly fun and supportive friends. Their excitement and encouraging words have been so meaningful to me as I go through this period of transition. They’ve helped keep my mind off of the more difficult aspects of packing it all up. We’re sad to part ways, but I’m already looking forward to sharing stories of everybody’s summer adventures when I return.
Ready to Go!
Yes, I’m ready. I keep telling myself this. It’s helping. I think.
I’ve been through my pack many times. I know why everything is in there. More importantly, I am confident that I’m not missing anything. Even with my cold weather gear stowed, I’ve got plenty of room for food. This is a good sign, since many of you will understand that food is a rather important aspect of any thru hike.
The route is set. After going back and forth several times on various options for accessing Monument 78, I’m going a less traditional route. I’ll be starting up the Robinson Creek Trail, which runs parallel to the PCT through a series of river valleys, then connecting (via the Old Boundary Trail) to the PCT just under four miles from the Monument. I’m very thankful to some locals for tipping me off to this alternative, as it will likely stay below the snow line, and I won’t have to backtrack over 30 miles of trail.
The body is in good shape. This provides a great psychological boost as well. I’m not nursing any fresh injuries. Despite a nervous stomach over the last few days, I’m still putting away lots and lots of calories. And I’m stretching lots and lots and lots. To those aspiring to take on a monumentally physical challenge of your own, I cannot stress enough how important stretching is. Obviously, it feels great, but it also clues us in to pains that might become significant problems, it helps keep joints flexible and strong, and helps circulate blood through your exhausted muscles. Plus, I’ve found stretching to be very relaxing and helpful when I’m in a funk and need to break out of it. Focusing your energy on maintaining your physical health and stamina is a great way to put your mind off wet shoes or a difficult climb ahead.
Ready for what lies ahead!?
Oh boy am I ever! As I mentioned in a previous post (this one, in fact), I’m ready to be stunned, flabbergasted, floored, awed, torn to pieces and then rebuilt anew, by what experiences I will find out on the PCT. You can’t be ready to have experiences you can’t predict. But goddamn am I ready to see what happens! I’m ready to be that insignificant speck on the side of a mountain with the world living around me without any interest in my presence. I’m ready to walk this path, on my own terms, and leave it a better place for those (human and not) who come after me.
So, What Now?
I’m heading out to Bellingham, WA to stay with family for a few days. On Saturday, I’ll cross back over to the eastern slope of the Cascades and start hiking north. Monday, June 19th, I’ll take a picture (let’s be honest, probably a bunch) in a clearing at a wooden monument, then turn in the other direction. Looking south, I don’t know what I’ll see from there. But when I get there, I’ll see it. And it will be awesome.
Stay tuned here and on my Instagram for updates as I go. Expect post cards. And, please, while I’m gone, GO HAVE AN ADVENTURE!!!
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