I talked to my mom about the trail last night and she seems to have finally come around a bit- we had a great conversation without her getting paralyzed by worry or fear. It feels so good to finally have her support on this adventure. She also informed me that my start date is my grandfather’s birthday- he would be turning 117 years old if he were still alive. Maybe I’ll have some Davidson vibes (good ol’ Scottish hardiness and sense of humor) following along on my journey!
I have been planning and researching for what seems like forever, but now I’m really getting into crunch time! There are already people on the trail for the 2019 season, and watching their videos and reading their posts is really lighting a fire under me to get the rest of my sh*t in order!!
I have most of my gear purchased and tested, but there are still small things that need attention. Like sealing the seams on my tent so I don’t get rained on. Like purchasing quality undergarments that can withstand 2650 miles of abuse. Like determining if a Personal Locator Beacon or a Satellite Messenger is worth the investment and if so, deciding which one to use. Like printing 450+ pages of detailed, full-color maps (if anyone has free printing at work and could help out this, I would be forever grateful!).
My permit to hike the trail has been complete and approved for months, but I also need a permit to enter Canada via the trail and a California fire permit. The fire permit is basically to make sure that I watch a video about the importance of fire safety so that I don’t start a forest fire while cooking my super ramen on the trail. The Canada entry permit is a bit more crucial. Without it, I cannot legally enter Canada on the trail and would have to “tag” the monument at the Northern terminus and hike back to the nearest Washington trailhead, I believe about 8 miles south of the border. Also, the Canada entry permit does not grant me access back into the US, and under no circumstances can you enter the US via the trail. This means that if I tag the monument, I will have to find my way to Seattle to fly home, or if I cross into Canada, I will have to find my way to Vancouver to fly home. Right now my plan is to enter into Canada and rest at Manning Park Resort (where the trail ends) for a day or two before meandering to Vancouver, but since I cannot possibly know when I will finish my trek at this point, all official return plans must wait. I do, however, need to complete and submit my entry permit so that I have as many options as possible!
My poor dehydrator and vacuum sealer have been working almost nonstop for many weeks now, but I still have along way to go. I have been trying desperately to make sure that I have plenty of variety, plenty of nutrients, and most importantly: plenty of calories. They say that “hunger is the very best seasoning“, so I suppose I shouldn’t worry too much about flavors, but I’ve been enjoying trying out new recipes and looking forward to getting them in my resupply boxes. Most recently I have made Chocolate Cake Batter hummus, Spicy Black Bean dip, Pine Nut Pesto hummus, and a hearty Sweet Potato Casserole mash. I have realized, however, that I really need to speed things up if I am going to have all of my meals ready before I leave. I still need all of my breakfasts (which can be made assembly-line style, but I still need ~150 of them!), about half of my lunches and half of my dinners (another 150 meals), plus about 140 additional snacks. This means that I need to cook, dehydrate, portion and package FOUR MEALS PER DAY every day until I leave… ugh.
Oh yeah, and I still have to hike. And hike. And then hike some more. I need to prepare my body so that I don’t injure myself from pushing too hard too abruptly. I need to figure out if my trekking pole will work as a muscle roller for my tight calves. I need to come up with a yoga flow that will take care of all the areas of my body that I’ll be beating up every day. Getting all my hiking in with so many other things to do (plus working full time!) is tough, but probably the most important aspect of my prep if I hope to make it to Canada, and I WILL make it to Canada.
Anyone want to go for a hike??