Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Day 67 : Zero at Home

0 miles today
1497 miles to go

Home, I picture a relaxing zero day. I'm up early unpacking my stuff. Dirty stuff, shockingly dirtying. I start a load of laundry for the clothes I'm keeping. I look through my spare gear and find new tips for my trekking poles. I eat ice cream. I refill my fuel bottles. Food sorting and packing? Nah, that can wait. I review my list of things to do. Looks like a busy day. I'm used to doing a single thing, walking. Now I have lots of things to do. To do them I have to do other things, like drive. It's weird to drive. To move through time and space so quickly and efficiently. I drive slower than I remember but as fast as I feel comfortable. 

REI is a place I don't frequent as much as I used to. I need shoes, they have shoes. Better yet, they have Nikki who seems to know more about shoes than a shoe salesman. She is super helpful. I tell her I'm hiking the PCT. I am wearing my beat up, worn out, Cascadias. She nods and listens. She measures my feet. She says stuff about toe boxes, and widths, and pronation that sound intriguing but makes little sense to me. She suggests Solomon somethings. They look sturdy and tough as nails. The tread looks less aggressive and more durable than the speedcross threes I once had. I try them on and they feel so much better than my old shoes. She gets a brand new set of super feet insoles. I ask do they wear out? I've had mine through at least three pairs of shoes and thousands of miles of trail. She nods. “Ok, let's try them.” Wow these shoes feel even better. I ask if there are any others she'd suggest to compare. She says, “you could compare these to the La Sportive Wildcat, but not really any others based on the shape of your foot. “Ok, just to compare,” I say. My mind is made up. I picture myself strolling over rocky trails boldly and without foot pain. She brings out the Wildcats of the same size. “These are the Goretex version, the only ones we have in this size, they’ll do for comparison.” I try to fit them on my feet, they were too small. “Do you have a larger one?” She goes to check. I imagine walking through streams and leaping from boulder to boulder. She's returns with a size larger, not Goretex. I don't want waterproof shoes. I find that my feet stay wetter in them than in something that breathes well, is more open. I try on these shoes and suddenly my mind is changed. These are amazing, like they are made for my feet. I wear one of each and notice that my foot with the Wildcat stays attached at the heel while the Solomon foot lifts ever so slightly, pictures of blisters on my heels run through my mind. Wildcats for sure.

I try to find a long sleeve shirt in my size. They have every other size. I finally find one. It fits, I take it. Good thing I don't need two of them. Same with the pants. One pair my size. Weird, lots of options in other sizes. I also get a couple of one liter squeeze bags for my micro filter. I am looking forward to using it in addition to Aqua Mira.

I meet my friend Greg for lunch. We talk about hiking and dreams and passions. He asks about what I've learned. I tell him about “hiking my own hike.” This is the thing that is most significant to me. I find it easy to latch on to other people’s visions and dreams and buy into whatever they think is important even though it's not really my ‘thing.’ Then I find myself bored and no longer motivated. He asks, “what motivates you, do you know yet? “No, but perhaps it'll be clearer when I finish.” I like talking to Greg. He's really smart and he also asks insightful questions that point me to answers I didn't see before. We have a great time and a great discussion. I leave feeling inspired.

My food is not packed. For whatever reason this task always seems harder than it ends up being once it's done. I stare at my pile of food and my food bags. Where to start? I start by getting my trash out of the way. Then I go through my ziplocks. Some are worn or dirty and need to be tossed out. I pile breakfast stuff and dinner stuff and snack stuff in different piles. I bag things together that go together. I put smaller bags into bigger bags. It's going well. Only a couple of days of food.

I prepare a food resupply box for Sierra City. It has to travel there Express. Even so, it may not arrive as soon as myself. Kelli is kind and helpful, preparing the shipping tag and sealing up the box, including the cool purple tape and happy fruit and paw print stickers that make it easier to locate. 

Before I know it my time at home is over. It went so fast. I am so looking forward to being here again. I can tell that it will be an adjustment for me to transition back into the non-hiking world. Things are so different. Some things are easier others are confusing and less easy. The best part of being home was being with the people I love and who love me, especially Kelli.

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