Friday, April 15, 2016

Day -16 : Flippity-flopping On Gear Choices

Now, thats a knife!
Suddenly its sixteen more days until I begin. I am mostly ready now. Mentally and physically anyway. How much does it really take to prepare? Probably less than I have. I tend to be an over-planner which is why this trip is going to be good for me. I think the unpredictable, unknowable aspects are going to be the hardest things for me to deal with. That means that the mental and emotional challenges will probably the most difficult. I noticed today, again, for the... I don't know... millionth? time how much I enjoy routine and doing the same thing over and over again. I come up with an optimized way of going through the day, most people would call it a rut. I am already a little anxious about my resupply package not being at the Post Office, and I haven't even shipped it yet. Throwing me out into the unpredictable variability of a thru-hike,  wow, talk about feeling uncomfortable!

I still haven't completely finalized my gear list. They say your pack weight reflects your fears. With all of the unpredictability I am finding that I have ample opportunity for fear. It's a constant battle to not add a small extra here and there. Before I know it, my pack is a pound heavier. Currently my pack weight is 12 lbs 11.6 ounces, but that is subject to fluctuate up and down a bit prior to leaving. I will update you with my final 'start' weight / list after I have actually left home. There are so many things that could be planned for that, the odds are, they are not going to occur. I am constantly weighing the probability of them and trying to take the least amount of things. One of the things I keep telling myself as I take things off the list is, "I can always have this thing shipped to me if I find I really need it." It seems to be helpful to do that. I happen to believe that fear is one of the greatest enemies keeping people from their dreams and goals. I don't want the weight of my pack to become a factor that causes me to be unable to accomplish my goal. So I deliberate and flippity-flop from dream-crushing fear to irrational optimism, I am not sure if there is such a thing as a 'happy' compromise between the two. I am looking forward to starting for the simple reason that the decision will have been made, the die will have been cast, and for better or worse, I will have to deal with the consequences of my decisions.

It looks as though we are in for some warmer weather for the next week here in California. The snow is beginning to melt. I drive to work each day looking at the Sierras to the east, wind-whipped and white, covered in snow. It looks really cold. A few months from now I will be traversing across the tops of those ridges. The snow will probably be mostly gone, I picture the trail by Tahoe, a section I am familiar from a number of hikes I have made on it.  I wonder what my thoughts will be after I will have hiked one thousand one hundred miles to essentially arrive back where I am now. Seems kinda crazy to even consider it. However, life is the journey, not the destination. Its not about where you are, its about the path you experience as you live out each day. I want to spend more time doing things I love. I feel that this hike will bring clarity to me about what I want and love.

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