Monday, April 27, 2009

This is it.  I buzzed Emily's head today!  We fly to San Diego this evening, then catch a ride to the southern terminus 40 miles east on Wednesday morning.  Holy cow... we are super excited, a little bit nervous, and eager to take the first step.  PCT here we come!     

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Resupply Towns

A common question we get is "What will you do for food?" Contrary to what some people may think, like that we'll be carrying a gun and hunting the local fauna, we will actually be resupplying our food via town grocery stores or, when necessary, post office maildrops (see picture above). Here is our tentative plan for resupplying, with hopeful arrival dates.

  2. Mt. Laguna 5/1
  3. Warner Springs 5/5
  4. Idyllwild 5/9
  5. Big Bear City 5/15
  6. Wrightwood 5/20
  7. Agua Dulce 5/25
  8. Tehachapi 5/31
  9. Onyx 6/5
  10. Kennedy Meadows 6/8
  11. Independence 6/13
  12. Vermillion Valley Resort 6/18
  13. Tuolumne Meadows 6/22
  14. Sonora Pass 6/27
  15. Echo Lake Resort 7/1
  16. Sierra City 7/7
  17. Belden 7/13
  18. Old Station 7/18
  19. Castella 7/25
  20. Etna 7/31
  21. Ashland, OR 8/7
  22. Crater Lake 8/13
  23. Sisters 8/22
  24. Timberline Lodge 8/29
  25. Cascade Locks 8/31
  26. Trout Lake, WA 9/5
  27. White Pass 9/9
  28. Snoqualmie Pass 9/15
  29. Skykomish 9/19
  30. Stehekin 9/25

Sunday, April 19, 2009

No Baseball on the trail

We have 1 and only 1 regret: We're going to miss the entire baseball season while hiking!  My Orioles are in town playing Em's Sox, so we went to a game at Fenway Park to feed the fix.  By the time we get back, it will be postseason.  Who will win the AL East and be playing in October?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A memorable send-off

Liz and George, my folks, are exemplary party hosts. In due form, they threw us an amazing party in honor of our imminent departure. The Theme: "Take a Hike".

April 5th dawned sunny and warmer than any day the previous week. The bar was set in the greenhouse, the "Happy Trails" soundtrack (with appropriate songs like 'South of the Border', 'California Dreamin', 'These Boots Are Made For Walkin', and 'O Canada') was spinning in the CD player, and 60 of our nearest and dearest friends and family came to Canton for the event.  A blast was had!

From the LEFT: Amy, Katie, Efrat, Cy, Leif and John

Bob, Ridge and the Hostess Supreme Liz

Four JP'ers: Emily, Jon, Chris and Jen

Carla and Sean, with Doyle's road race sunburns, and my sister Adrienne

Winning the distance prize: Chris' brother Greg, and his wife, Jenny
who made the trek from Chicago

Thanks to all who came!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Emotional mad dash to the finish... er, starting line

I've been a bit lax about writing.  There are so many emotions wrapped up in this experience that it's hard to sum them all up in a blog post. Excitement, disbelieve, stress, doubt. We've been keeping ourselves busy arranging pet- and house-sitters, last minute purchases at REI (while the discount still applies!!), giving notice at work and coordinating insurances - lots of to-do lists.  

Sometimes we lose sight of the big picture and bicker under the stress of leaving our home, leaving our jobs, leaving our family and real lives.  I just try to remind myself that all these "things" and beloved people will be here when we get back.  We have set our sights on an amazing experience.  Yeah, it's scary, but it's now or never.  And like my mother says, just take each task as it comes.  Today it's pet food and resupply boxes, tomorrow it's rattlesnakes and desert climbs.

Amid the whirlwind of preparations, we're also finding time for some fun.  There are lots of people that we'll miss over the coming months so we're spending as much time as possible with friends and family.  A couple weeks ago we went to visit my Aunt Patrice and Uncle Jim.  They were in good spirits and consummate hosts, per usual.  

We also squeezed in a little adventure while in western Mass.  Since quitting your job in a sour economy isn't exciting enough, we went SKYDIVING!!!  This was a surprise outing I'd planned for Chris's birthday last summer.  Bad weather foiled those plans but we happened to find ourselves nearby on a perfectly clear early spring day so we used our rain check.  Peter and Keith at Jumptown in Orange, MA took good care of us on our first ever tandem jumps from a plane.  

Talk about surreal.  It doesn't feel like you're plummeting towards certain death after you take that first step out of the plane at 13K feet. Rather, I was mostly concerned with keeping my back arched and catching my breath.  Chris, meanwhile, was trying to keep his breakfast down. When we landed next to the airstrip my tandem guide said, "Whoa, looks like Chris isn't feeling so well."  Indeed, he was ashen.  But we're both excited to jump again for Adrienne's 30th birthday next year!!  And during that jump, we'll be wiser and have 2,650 miles under our belts!