Saturday, October 10, 2009

Training.. oh yeah.

With 3.5 months left until the journey begins, it's way past time to begin breaking in muscles for the 6,600 miles of road and trail to come.. My job has kept me in decent shape on my bike, but fitness in cycling doesn't necessarily translate to fitness for backpacking.  Also working 2 jobs and going to school full time for 2 majors leaves little room for training.  I'll take what I can get. 

I'm starting to get that buzzy feeling that I felt when my AT thru-hike was just around the corner.  It's easy to get lost in the maps, the distance and scale, the little blue and red lines that are but mere symbols of an epic adventure- innumerable unforeseen challenges await. There are many blank spots in the Western US, places that seemingly contain nothing at all, places that the rest of the world seems unconcerned with or unaware of- I'll be walking through many of these areas.  The Mojave desert, the High Sierras etc.. the most wonderful places on this earth cannot be accessed by vehicle. Thank God.

The gear is coming together well, though every time I think about something that I “need” I feel like a total yup’. I bought a headlamp today, a sweet new petzl that I'm wearing right now.  It was a $36 semi-impulse buy because it was really cool. Don’t judge. I had store credit. Step back. 

                                                     Azaleas in the high country
By the way…

Thanks a lot ‘Grandma Gatewood’ for showing up everyone from the very beginning.  This woman thru-hiked the AT 3 times with a homemade sack full of her gear slung over one shoulder.  She carried an old army blanket, a raincoat and a shower curtain for shelter.  And what of modern hikers and the outdoor industry?  “Most people are pantywaists” she said. Word.
But really, where does it end? First it’s a headlamp that you think you have to have, next it’s some tiny robot that cooks for you, sets up your tent and clips your toenails and you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.  It’s a slippery slope.

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