|Still Waters helps me sort and label my spare gear so I can keep track of it.|
|Labels on my spare hiking clothes. Can you tell I'm undecided about clothing?|
|Labels on my spare gear. Some of it I don't use anymore, but I hold onto it "just in case"-- sigh...|
Putting stuff into storage
I am going to distribute my stuff (both my gear and my non-hiking-related possessions) between my parents and four of my friends here in Georgia. My folks offered to keep all my stuff at the house in Wisconsin (which is where they retired to), but since I doubt I'd want to live there, I am just giving them my "valuables” to store- photo albums, rugs, and a few pictures. I don’t know where I’ll end up after hiking the PCT, but keeping my other stuff (i.e. my clothes, sewing supplies, books, and kitchen supplies) mostly in Georgia with my friends just feels right.
|Things my parents will store for me: portrait of Darwin, and prints drawn by my grandma of Mt. Hood and the Oregon coast.|
Because I am moving soon, and will be living out of my suitcase and backpack after that, I’ve gotten most of my resupply boxes together already. There are various ways to get food along the PCT, and I am choosing a mix of strategies. I cooked and dehydrated my favorite, homemade no-cook meals for about 7 resupply boxes, most of which I'll supplement with snacks I will buy in towns. Still Waters has generously offered to send 5 resupply boxes to me at various points in So. Cal and the Sierra. Then, in larger towns I’ll buy all my food for my resupply. I will also box up and ship food to myself to places that don’t have good selections- like some places in Oregon and Washington.
|Renee and I used Craig's PCT planner, Yogi's guides, and Halfmile's notes to get rough estimates of our resupply stops and how much food to send or buy.|
|Sorting my homemade, just add cold water meals into resupply boxes.|
My parents are also going to be visiting me a few times while I'm on the PCT. They love to hike and travel, and I think my dad especially would join me on the trail if he could. But meeting me at trailheads and in towns will be a wonderful way for them to share the adventure. They plan to meet me in So. Cal. before I head into the Sierra, then again in Nor. Cal, and then Oregon. They will travel and sight see on their own and then meet me, helping us resupply, then taking us back to the trail. (Note: if anyone has suggestions for places for them to stay near the trail that are scenic and uncrowded especially in Nor. Cal., please let me know!)
They are driving down to Georgia this weekend to pick up “spare gear” and 2 resupply boxes (mostly dinners I dehydrated). I am giving them my warmer clothes for the Sierra, rain gear and passport for Washington (the Canada entry permit is being mailed to them so they can get that to me as well), a couple plant identification guidebooks (yay!), and extra stuff for gear repairs and replacements. I have no idea if I'll need any of this spare gear, or how easy it would be to otherwise pick this stuff up along the way, but since I already have it, I figure I might as well give it to them.
My parents have been doing some preparations of their own, looking over maps, and they both finished reading "Wild." We've had some wonderful trips in the past so I know that having them out there will be really fun.
|Dad suggests foraging for edible plants to supplement my diet on my thru hike. <haha!>|
|Mom says to find good, strong trees like this one for hanging my hammock.|
It has been an interesting process to try to figure out how to share my journey, to plan for how I will get support. Often, I find it difficult to ask for help (finding it much easier to help others, much harder to receive help). In the past I was drawn to the self-sufficiency of backpacking, to the concept of carrying everything needed and nothing more. One of the things that's becoming more clear to me is how wonderful and important my connections are- people care about me, and they also believe in and are supportive of 'living the dream.' I am learning that when people help me, they become part of a shared experience that enriches all our lives. I expect I will continue to learn more about this part of long-distance hiking.