I completely missed my mark to celebrate my transition into the double digits for my PCT countdown. RIP everything. Roughly two and a half months remain. What is even happening.
I want to take a moment to detail how awful this is, I’ll do so by explaining a typical weekend day for me:
Wake up: Oh yeah, this happens.
Still in bed: What should I even do today? Things cost money. I do not have money. I guess I could hike the trail by my house, but I pretty much have names for every rock on the path at this point. We’re well acquainted. I don’t want to do that. But if you can’t hike on a bad day at home, that means you’re going to fail the PCT you piece of shit.
Hey thanks brain.
Considering getting out of bed: Well, my laptop is right there… Might as well browse the internet for a while. Let’s check out the PCT 2016 group.
Oh you guys crack me up!
Oh.. oh.. I’m staying the hell away from this discussion.
Gear talk… I might puke.. but hell might as well join in.
More discussion about El Nino?! Chill out guys!
Oh look, an argument.
I hit refresh about 100 times waiting for new exciting content to pop up, but my theory is that everyone in the group is simultaneously doing the same thing, so no content is posted. Well, let’s check the main PCT group.
Oh hey, a Rebo post. This guy is awesome.
“I’m not hiking until 2020 when can I expect snow?”. I want to talk to my people, let’s see what’s going on in the 2016 group!
Nothing. Well damn.
After flip-flopping around the Facebook groups, I head on over to the PCT Sub-Reddit. This place is bustling during the summer, I was fortunate enough to witness this. During the winter though… man, not a lot going on there..
I finally get up and spend all of three minutes to make breakfast (peanut butter sandwich every day for the last year without fail..), get back to my room, collapse on the bed, and refresh all my tabs. Still nothing.
Well I guess I’ll rewatch all the PCT videos on Youtube again. After the first one, I lose focus and head back to my computer and look at my gear list.
I shouldn’t bring this.. should I bring this? I totally shouldn’t bring this.. should I? OH GOD IT IS .5 OUNCES, I WILL DIE.
I like my new tent that I just spent $350 on.. but this other tent weighs considerably less.. sure it completely defies every reason why I bought a free-standing tent, but my base weight will be much lower!
Two pairs of socks seems excessive.. No it’s not. Yes it is. No, it fucking isn’t.
Should I bring a collapse-able bluetooth keyboard? I am completely helpless at typing on my phone.. but the added weight! And what if it’s too loud?! If I ever hope to maintain this blog on trail, I’ll probably need this.. but what does ‘need’ mean anyways, man?
I frustratedly close the tab, re-open it, then close it again to show it who’s the boss around here. I don’t need your damn gear lists! I’ll just go through my PCT box.
I dump the contents on the floor and sort things out. Electronics, clothes, shelter system… I put it all in my pack, stand up, put my pack on, adjust the straps, take it off, and dump everything on the floor. I’ll leave something out, put everything back in, put the pack on, take it off, etc. This then devolves into me just screwing around with all my gear.
Trekking pole locked, trekking pole unlocked, trekking pole locked, trekking pole unlocked.
I know these crampons fit my feet, but… let’s put them on again to make sure anyways.
This bear canister would make an excellent beer cooler… hmm…
I really should cut the tags off all these things.. maybe later (I’ve been having this thought for the last 8 months now)
I get bored with this eventually, neatly pack everything back into my PCT gear box, and throw myself into my computer chair. Sometimes I’ll sit there and stare at my desktop background, sometimes I’ll drop my head on the desk and think about absolutely nothing, or more commonly, I’ll head back and repeatedly refresh webpages in a desperate attempt to will content into existence. Then I realize I still have some work to do: I still don’t have shoes picked out…
Merrels! La Sportiva! Altra! Brooks! Literally wear every single shoe ever on your foot!
God this is so frustrating.. Okay, these guys wore Altras for 500 miles, these guys wore Brooks for 200 miles, my Merrels have lasted over 1,000 miles at work (Yes I have actually taken the time to measure this), plus the miles on trail, but they squeeze my feet.. maybe a size up will help? You know I don’t like these shoes anyways.. The Lone Peaks look snazzy, but what the fuck is zero drop? Oh.. that’s what it is.. Well I could handle that. But I wonder what else is out there..
I eventually think to go to REI to check out La Sportiva Wildcats. Great ratings all around! But.. there’s people at REI.. and it’s.. busy. I don’t like crowds. I don’t like driving through traffic.. I still need to return my old backpack and sleeping bag too but.. The people! The people! I’ll go on a workday, it’s close enough (On a workday: I’m too tired to go, I’ll just go on the weekend).
Okay, so that’s resolved.. let’s mess with gear again.. I don’t like the liners in my running shorts, I’m gonna cut them out.
Jesus christ I’ve destroyed my running shorts!
I accidentally pierced through the leg somehow, don’t ask me how it happened. Great, now I have to buy new shorts. I guess this time I can go for something with pockets at least. Afraid of causing more harm to my gear, I put it away yet again and leave it alone.
Well.. Might as well look at gear.
*Authors note, I have to refrain from thinking about any of this. Ounce counting is a disease, the less I think about it, the better off my wallet is. Assume that I kept finding better alternatives to what I have and constantly found myself considering buying them despite my non-existent budget.
I’m out of things to do.. might as well check the Facebook page.
When I find nothing there, all I have left is to sit in my chair, listen to good music, and daydream. What is this section going to be like? What kind of food does this town have? How awesome is an enchilada going to be after hiking x amount of days? How sick am I going to get of my food? I mean I eat almost the same thing every day as it is.. Just turn off your brain and chew, right? I’ve gotten pretty good at it. But is that only because I know I have access to alternatives but choose not to take them? AGH!
I think I’ll look for some trail journals! Oh right, I’ve read all the ones I could find.. New book time? Hikertrash? Sure, I’ll give this a shot. NO WAIT, why did I spend money again? Dammit!
My mind isn’t running rampant with just these thoughts constantly. The same trail thoughts/fears run through my head in-between all day every day. Will I make it? Does it even matter to me to make it? Of course it does! What happens when I make it, then what? Well I don’t think it’ll be good for me to just go home after that, but what does that even mean for me? Post-trail life is absolutely going to destroy me, I just know it. Should I hike at all? Hell yes I should, but… What the hell do I even want? I don’t know!
1325 words later, here’s a condensed version: I can not turn my brain off about this thing. At all. Every single fiber of my being is screaming “Come on, let’s go already!” and I have to remind these bastard fibers that it’s not time to go yet, but I still feel them pulling me South towards the border regardless. Someone tell these fibers to chill.
So yeah.. 80 days, 11.4286 weeks, 2.630140679 months until it’s time to go. But I mean, I’m not counting or anything.. And I certainly don’t stare at my computer calendar when it hits 12AM to watch another day slip by. Why would I do that?
Things are going to get a little busy though. I need to go through all my possessions and sort them for selling/donations. An entire house needs to be packed up and ready to vacate. I need to go to the DMV (I am dreading this something fierce), and of course I need to somehow pull all of this together in some crazy ass way and get out there to hike. I am completely amazed anyone pulls this pre-trail stuff off.