T-10 Days

Sitting on the living room table is a resupply box addressed to me.  My address is General Delivery, Warner Springs, California.  In it I have a set of maps for California, Section C and five days worth of breakfasts and dinners.  I will buy my lunches at the Warner Springs Community center.  For the whole trip, I will only need to send about ten boxes from home, but the first one is 109 miles in.  I will send it on Saturday.  With that, there is no more planning.

Looking at the calendar, my last day at work is Friday.  There are events every single night this week.  I hope to hike some Ice Age trail on Saturday morning.  There is no more time left to train.  Since I started training to hike the PCT, I have hiked about the distance of the PCT spread out over three years.  I will begin the hike with good muscle mass on my legs and strong ankles.  I have no foot or knee pain.  With that, there is no more training.

I have taken the time to tie down all the loose ends in my life.  I have handed off all my responsibilities other than husband and father.  It is very strange to look at my calendar and see every single day open through October 1st.  With that, I have just one focus.

Next Monday, I will spend the day laying out my gear one last time.  I will strive to reduce it some more.  I’d like to be closer to fourteen pounds.  There is a hiker who is leaving the same day named Chloe.   She shared her kit that weighs nine pounds.  I set her list next to mine to see what the differences were.  From an item to item point of view, there were not many differences.  It was all about choices.  Her pack weighs 18 ounces and mine weighs 48.  Hers is made of light weight materials and she removed the metal supports.  That means that it will become uncomfortable above 25 pounds.  Mine is a tank, ready for a beating and is comfortable up to 40 pounds.  She is going stove-less.  I would like a warm meal at the end of the day.  That is 1.1 additional pounds.  I wear contacts and am taking a pair of glasses.  That is half a pound.  She is taking a smaller battery.  Mine is probably too big for what I need.  That would save me 1/4 pound.  Her first aid kit is just 1.8 ounces.  Mine is 7.6 ounces, but has stuff I know that I will encounter on the trail like poison oak.  She is depending upon electronics.  I have backup paper maps.  We have the same clothes, but hers weigh less because she is smaller.  All that being said, she has an emergency beacon, and I do not.  It is all about choices.

Next Tuesday I leave.  I will wear clothes that I will throw away when I change into my hiking gear when I reach San Diego.  I am so ready to go.

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