Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Sojourn in the Wilderness

I took a break from building websites for a while over the weekend and picked up one of my favorite AT books, Sojourn in the Wilderness by Ken Wadness (Peacewalker). I’ve been working hard to prepare for this walk for months, even years. The prep I do for the trail is only half of it. The other half is trying to fulfill all my business obligations: completing software and web development projects, documenting everything so that it can be handled by Heather, my friends and co-workers while I’m on the trail. So I’d been working non-stop and my mind was racing – and it was just the right book to grab!

There are many books about the AT. As you’ve seen from Trailjournals.com, there are a ton of journals out there too. If you’re looking for a great read from last year’s class of thru-hikers, check out Jan Liteshoe’s journal. Peacewalker’s book is a bit different from most of the books. It’s a coffee table book containing some awesome photos from his 1990 southbound thru-hike. So I open the book and find myself on top of a mountain in New Hampshire. I’ve been to many of the locations of the photos and they are truly incredible. If course, Peacewalker had a pack that maxed-out around 80 pounds, so a little high-quality photography equipment fit in easily.

Where was I? Oh yeah – it’s easy to lose the forest for the trees. I’ve been prepping so long and hard that I forgot most of the reasons I’m going in the first place. So I crashed when I saw the pics, taking a number of deep breaths and slowing down for a while. It is beautiful out there.

Back on the prep front, I sewed a few pockets into the inside of my pack. There’s a lot of new lightweight gear I’ve picked up over the past couple years and I’m still customizing it. Just received my digital camera (Canon S400) with enough time that perhaps I can learn how to use it and not have to carry the manual for the first week of the trip! Been talking a lot with my brother, planning food and mail drops, arranging starting plans (his house on 3/12, on the trail 3/13), and talking gear.

Oh yeah – and if you’re reading and enjoying this journal, consider a donation to Leif & ZipDrive – former thru-hikers who built and run this wonderful site!