So, tomorrow, we leave. First, a stop in Harpers Ferry, WV, at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy office, to register. This isn't required, but I just want to have my name in the book as a 2012 hiker. Then on up to Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Carlisle, which is where I've gotten to with a combination of my 2009 GA-MD long hike, and a couple of shorter hikes since then. So I've done half the Trail, 1092 miles, and now I'm hoping to polish off the remaining 1092 in the next 3 months.
Big difference this time: Steve, my husband, is taking our camper, and will be staying at campgrounds near where I'm hiking. He'll be my resupply resource. We'll meet up once or twice a week so he can bring me food and supplies, and so I can go "home," spend a day and/or night with him, get a shower, do laundry, and even, believe it or not, ride my bike. Despite spending the whole summer hiking, I am holding out hope that I can also do the SavageMan Triathlon in mid-September. If I can get in a bike ride once a week, and maybe a short run, I should be OK. I'll lose 20 pounds and have legs of steel. Swimming, well, I'll just fake it through the swim on race day. Running, well, hiking will take care of most of my run training, although I'll need to do a little on my days off the trail. We'll see. I don't know for sure that it can be done; if not, I'll volunteer at the race instead of being in it.
The main thing is the Trail. I soooo want to finish. I am pining to get to Katahdin.
My daughter Avery will be posting my journals here once again. So there will be a time lag, as I'll mail them to her once a week, and then she'll have to have some free time to transcribe them to my blog. She has a new job and is moving so her hands are full. Thank you for doing this, Avery!
My other daughter Valerie and her 2 teenage kids, Collin and Gracie, made me some special Trail wear. A lovely lavender wicking t-shirt with their good luck messages on the back: Go, Grandma! Ellie is #1! Good luck! Je t'aime, bonne chance, grandmere (from Gracie who studies French and Spanish.) "Don't fall off," from Collin, 16. And a parting tip from Gracie, 13: "You might need an orange shovel." Val also made "wishing bracelets" for herself, me, Gracie, Collin, Avery, my 91-yr-old mother, and granddaughters Abbie, Sarah, and Paige. Everyone wears these until I climb that last mountain, to wish me safety and success. Very cool.
So my pack is packed (27# including 3 days of food and a quart of water) and is out in the truck ready to go. The camper is packed, including all the food I dehydrated (minus a few packages my mother's dog Woody stole) and a bin of gear I might need to exchange later (warmer clothes for the White Mountains and Maine, for example.)
I will let you know how everything goes, as much as I can!!
God be with you till we meet again!