65 hours left in Indiana. Holy crap! I’ve switched from counting down the days to counting down the hours!
I have everything purchased that I need, though I may be doing a last minute switch to a more comfortable sleeping pad. The last week has been a bit surreal, scary, and reassuring at the same time. I’ve had the opportunity to meet two former thru-hikers this week. I’m glad I met both of them.
The first hiked thru-hiked the trail in 1979 and has rehiked about 2/3 of it since then. He helped me out by going through all my gear and giving some words of wisdom about the trail. We got connected through a hiking meetup group I help organize here in Indiana. His first comment to me was “You are crazy!” My response? “Yes. Yes I am.” This response seemed to reassure him. He actually seemed really confident in the likelihood that I will succeed after talking to me about my physical and mental preparations for the trail. He seems to think I’ll end up hiking a faster pace than I even thought I would once I get into a rhythm.
The second was a chance meeting with a guy who works at the new REI store in Indy. Some friends talked him into it at the last minute last year, so he ended up starting with about 40 pounds worth of gear. He learned along the way what weight he could drop from his pack and made it all the way to Katahdin. He considered me an ultralight hiker with only 20 pounds of gear. (I consider myself in the midweight range, but that was reassuring as well.) Wish I could have talked with him a bit more, but I needed to get to work and I could easily have been hours late just talking about the trail. It’s like marathoners. We never shut up about gear shoes, good runs, bad runs etc.
Besides prepping for the trail, I’ve been meeting up with friends and family for the last time before the trip, trying to get projects I am in charge of at my current job straightened up before I leave, and having trouble sleeping because I am just that excited that it is almost here. Months of planning, years of dreaming all becoming a reality in just 65 more hours.
LIFE IS GOOD!