Saturday August 15, 2015
I can’t believe it’s finally time. After seven months of planning, preparing, reading, grilling my more experienced backpacking friends or information, taking REI wilderness survival and compass reading classes, and gathering all the advice and tips from Facebook groups that I can fit into my brain, tomorrow I begin my adventure. The plan is to drive to Yosemite Valley where I’ll park my car at the Curry Village trail-head parking lot and find my way (by thumb or bus) to the Dow Villa Motel in Lone Pine. From there I’ll hitchhike to the Horseshoe meadow trail-head on Monday morning and hike 4 miles and 1200 feet over Cottonwood pass to Chicken Spring Lake to begin my 30 day John Muir Trail journey. It’s real. It’s happening. Holy shit… What was I thinking?
I have a sinking fluttery feeling in my gut. I’m actually nervous! Me –with my self-proclaimed “unhealthy absence of fear”!!! Not so much I guess, I’m scared shitless right now. Really, I’m about to lose my shit.
I feel alone and nervous. How the hell am I going to handle 30 days alone in the wilderness if I leave feeling alone? All the work I’ve done over the last 6 years; all those lonely days and nights learning that it’s better to be alone than to be with people who drain me or drag me down, or that it’s better to sit in the nothingness and the pain than to crawl back in the bottle or the bag or the package of cookies … it has all led me here. But seriously. Wtf was I thinking?
Am I really ready to spend 30 days alone in the wilderness? – Without Capone (my 10 year old Rottweiler/Lab mix and sometimes backpacking partner)??? Oh my god, I’m gonna have a heart attack. Seriously, I can’t breathe…
I have a strange feeling cleaning my house, updating my advance health directive, and making sure my final wishes are known to my emergency contact. Why do I feel like I’m not coming back? This sinking feeling…. Like my stomach is about to fall out through my soon-to-be aching swollen feet. What have I gotten myself into?
(Talking to myself): Ok.. Take a breath.. Breathe.. in and out.. sloooowly.. Breathe… You know you aren’t going to backout. Quitting is not an option so just breathe.
This is the same feeling I had before leaving the house to skydive. Preparing for the “what-if” is normal – and responsible, right??? This is not a walk in the park – this is Two. Hundred. Fifty. Miles. ALONE!
To myself: Do you get it now? This is a big fucking deal. If I wasn’t scared I’d be crazy. It’s OK. It’s going to be OK. Just keep moving forward.. And remember to breathe…
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