As the title of this post indicates, I'm reverberating with excitement.
All-of-a-sudden-like: my Grand Adventure! It's here! I'm hitting the trail! For 4 months!!
I've spent the past few months getting my body in order. My body was angry. We had to do a little re-building from the ground up. It's taken awhile to re-establish our relationship, but I like to think I'm new and improved. Ater being injured for an extended period of time, I'm still learning to trust my body. But, I'm feeling strong as well as cautiously nervous. Like I said, I'm still learning to trust.
The prep has been a little crazy. The past few months have been a little crazy. While I'm not a girl who is proned to stress, I've had to remember to breath. :) Inhale! Exhaaaaale. My work will be rewarded. Patience, Grasshopper. But really, I've missed being out on the trails in Banff. I've spent way to much time inside this spring. Baaaa, the gym. I try to love it, but I hate it. I've missed the trail. I've certainly been out there marching around the woods with my pack on, but I haven't quite had the number of epic adventures that I have grown used to. It's a good thing I've got a major adventure right around the corner because I'm so ready for quality time on the trails.
So. I hit the trail in a week!
I'm a self-confessed lousy organizer, so I'm as ready as I'll ever be. All that is left is to get on the trail and get walking. Last weekend, I packed up my re-supply boxes, looked over the maps and trail towns and got really, really excited. Reading all about the trail towns and the places in between gave the trail a little more shape in my mind. I've got all sorts of things and places and people to look forward to visiting out there. But, I'm focusing on one step at a time and one foot in front of the other. I think my Ultra mind set will serve me well. While I'm certainly know expert, I've learned some valuable lessons with my many, many miles spent on the trail. But, really - this is brand new territory for me. While there have been backpacking trips in my youth and fast-packing trips in recent years, this is a different beast. I've got plenty to learn. Hopefully, fingers crossed - the body will provide. Either way, I'm going to have fun trying. I'm buzzing with anticipation and excitement!!
What's the plan?
Well, Keith will be driving Angela and I out to Hart's Pass in Washington next Monday and Tuesday. Yay! Finally! I am PCT bound. Whoop! Whoop! I'll start my hike on August 1st with Angela who is going to join me for the first few weeks. The Amazing Ms. Angela is a fine trail companion and amongst other things is a PCT Class of 2009 Alumni. She's successfully hiked the PCT before from Mexico to Canada.
Hart's Pass trail head is a gravel road in the middle of nowhere and it's the closest spot to the border. From there, we will hike 30 miles Northbound to Monument 78 and the Canadian border. Then, we'll turn around and walk the trail back to where we started. We get to do this "bonus loop" because the US Government doesn't permit people walking across the border at random wilderness crossings. Understandable. You've got to cross at an official border crossing. And I don't want to get shot. So, I'll do a bonus lap to the border, tag the border and turn around. It's supposed to be quite the gorgeous and ass-kicking 30 Miles, so I'm looking for ward to start it despite how strange it seems to be doing it this way.
Aaaaah, Washington! The first state on my Pacific Crest Trail journey. I long to explore your steep mountains, your vast green forests and your moss covered slopes. The Cascades are huge. I've never explored them before and it's a rather intimidating start even for this mountain girl. The trail is tough out there. The snow is still leaving this corner of the world and I suspect I'll have wet feet all day every day. The creeks are still raging and a few bridges are washed out. It's going to be a challenge right off the start. I'm very glad for Angela's fine company. Having company for the first couple of weeks will be a wonderful way to start my journey. And then I'll be on my lonesome....
It's non-stop big mountains all the way to the Columbia River Gorge - and I imagine lots of dark, green, thick bush. And mosquitoes. 'tis the Season. Fingers crossed that the weather cooperates and the bugs don't carry me away. I suspect, when I roll into Cascade Locks and the Columbia River Valley I'll be a tired, dirty, happy girl. I also think my timing is going to be serendipitous for meeting many of the Northbound "herd" of hikers! So, perhaps there may be a bit of socializing to be done in this little trail town. It will be most definitely a welcome day-off.
In my mind, I've mapped out each section of Washington. The mail-outs, the stops and the brief places of civilisation in between are all little things to look forward to. But, the trail....oh, the trail! This is what I'm most looking foward to discovering. Magical new places. And, the Pacific Crest Trail is loaded with them. For a girl like me who likes nothing more than spending long days on the trail - it really is my idea of a dream holiday. I can do this thing that I like to do day after day, after day!! New places, new people, new scenery, new trails. Every day, all day. It's a dream trip for me, fer sures. I'll be out there for months!! How exciting is that!! And if I stop having fun, or my body explodes, or I miss my husband - it's quite simple: I'll stop. With no regrets. Because really, it's all about the adventure. Whatever the adventure beholds, I'm ready and welcoming. It's time for this girl to bust it out.