Back in Sept I shipped out for four months. I hadn't sailed in ten months, which was all part of the plan. This gave me a better chance of getting a ship on the pineapple run (domestic service to Hawaii) so I could avoid Alaska in the winter, have less stress, and potentially get more workouts in and even hike every two weeks. I got the job, and I did accomplish a lot of this, however weather, lethargy, and stress were all worse than expected, and I did not get as much planned as I hoped while at sea, and my fitness was not the best. I did get a few good hikes in though!
Having gotten home a full 10 weeks before my supposed start date, full panic mode is on!
I started training by trying to run and do stairs every day, but I was really slackin, so I decided to sign up for a month long all women's boot camp. I've done this program before, and I know it will amp up my fitness level. A week into the program I realize I am stronger and faster than I gave myself credit for (or my beer belly shows) but I am still pushing hard. One hour of a killer workout 4 days per week will definitely help, but won't get me 2660 miles through the mountains on its own, so I am going to strive to get some weight on my back and keep pushing.
I've also started cooking and dehydrating meals non-stop. I bought a new excaliber food dehydrator and have been cooking large batches of meals (basically different versions of beans and rice) non stop. I don't dehydrate individual ingredients, but rather already composed meals. I am vegetarian and I love spice, so though this is likely unnecessary added stress as I know I can find food along the trail, hopefully it will make me happy months from now.
Of course, grant and I are spending money like drunken sailors on new gear. Why? Sometimes I have no f'ing idea as we have been backpacking a million times. It's all about getting your base weight down though (base weight equals everything in your bag including the bag itself, but excludes consumables, food, water, fuel). I have been getting lighter and lighter every year, but its now it's a pseudo competition between myself and the interwebs. I am down to about 15.5 lbs, so square in the lightweight status, but not even close to ultra light weight. Still, 2 lbs less than last year when I did a small section of the PCT. We are not even close to being done picking gear, and likely will never be done as things always change once you are off the couch, offline, and on trail. For now, it is a lot of anxiety and agony every day trying to decide which goddamned shirt to wear!
Besides all this, we still had to start getting our life put away. We want to get a renter for our house, which means we had to build a fence, and will have to pack up our personal possesions. I have to get my taxes done, plus take care of myself with doctor appointments, dentist, etc.. All crap I couldn't do on the high seas. All this stuff seems to snowball and I feel like it will never end!
At some point I am going to have to make a resupply plan, but I can't seem to get there. Bought a Costco supply of Vitamin I (ibuprofen) Aqua Mira, my main method of water purification, and other stuff, but no PLAN! We do have our permits, but we have to throw a hail mary that Canada will forgive our youthful indiscretions and grant us a permit to cross the border northbound. We shall see.
The last bit of stress and wrapping up of life is visiting friends and family, as its already been at keast 4 months since i saw them, and unforgiveably, longer for others.This involves a lot of driving and flying, all of which is both deeply satisfying, but directly takes away from our ability to get ready, train, or even breathe. I have been learning through this that many of our loved ones either didn't realize we would be hiking the whole thing, or that it would take us 5-6 months, or that we were even doing it "so soon". Its frustrating as I feel like I've been a broken record for years talking about the PCT, but it is so hard for people to understand, especially the why. (spoiler alert: I don't know why. I just need to.) We're getting there though, and I have received a lot of support and encouragement from a few wonderful people in my life including my mother, who is even calling it the Pacific CREST Trail now instead of Pacific Coast Trail, like so many people :) Love you mom!!!
OK, well tons more to do. In the end, whatever we don't finish, will just be unfinished, as I am hiking come hell or high water!
**unfortunately I can't seem to get this blogger app to let me add photos to posts, so none for now. I'm working out the bugs, but in the end may have to do as Carrot Quinn does, and post a link to Instagram. We shall see. BTW if you want to read a real writer who has hiked the PCT twice, go to Carrot Quinn's blog