Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Last week, I realized I’m no longer counting the weeks ‘til the hike—I’m counting the days! 16 days from now I’ll be driving down to VA with either my fiancée Heather or her brother John. I just spoke to my father on the phone and found myself saying ‘every moment feels precious right now.’ That’s how I’d like to feel all the time, but the accompanying pressure to wrap up my business is a poor reason to feel that way! I’ve gotten almost all my contacted websites built. Jim, one my partners in Air2App Wireless Telemetry, is coming over tomorrow to review software that he’ll be maintaining in my absence. Thanks Jim!

On the other hand, I’ve reached the point where I don’t care about the details of my gear anymore. Once I finish sewing stuff sacks and food sacks for my brother and myself, I’ll be ready to hike. No more shaving ounces and debating whether to bring an extra pair of socks. I’m wonderfully relieved to find myself willing to let go of the details. After the first 30 miles of hiking, I’ll have a chance to tune my load. For now, I’m happy just carrying it.

My brother and I have been talking on the phone almost every day and a lot of the talk has centered around the guidebook we’re planning on bringing. We did most of our planning out of the 2000 and 2001 Thru-Hiker’s Handbook. I’d been hoping to use either the 2004 edition of the same or switch to the 2004 Thru-Hiker’s Companion, put out by the American Long Distance Hikers Association. Unfortunately, the format of the new books makes ‘em tougher to use. Rather than using mileage as the basis for the books, both have switched to focusing on the gaps, mountains and shelters along the trail. That’s great for pleasure reading, but when I want to know where the heck I am on the trail, I can’t find it from the guidebook! I’d be interested in learning why the books are written this way!

I just fed my dog Tally a bunch of the turkey I was eating—that means she’ll be cruising by, looking for more soon. She’s an 8-year-old Samoyed that Heather and I adopted 2 years ago and yes, that’s her picture on the left side, not mine. I’m nowhere near as pretty! If you have a tough time with cold winters, get a Sammy! Tally loved the below-zero weather we had this year, pouncing on the snow, crunching the ice and just generally having a ball. It’s been impossible to look out the window and think how terrible the weather is, ‘cause instead I’m out walking in it and finding out how beautiful it is once you get used to your nose going numb.

Good moral there—the first step is always the hardest. Just get up and walk.

16 days. Time to play another game or two of volleyball, finish my work, enjoy some good food, friends, family and especially Heather’s company. And then when I’m done with that, I get to go have the time of my life!