This past week we have had a summer tease. Temperatures have been an incredible sixty-three degrees, warm enough to truly believe that winter is over. It's not, though--it's supposed to snow again Sunday. It wouldn't be the real mountains without this hesitation between seasons. All of this reminds me that soon I will be backpacking in the mountains!
The exciting news is that some of the lightweight gear I ordered has been making its way to the post office. Yes, 200 miles is not even a tenth of the PCT, but it still represents a significant hike no matter how you look at it. There are times when I wish I were doing the whole thing, but then I come back to my senses. As much as I like hiking long and far, I don't want it to be my sole reason for being for five months.
A big box of food from PackitGourmet arrived, blissfully lightweight sustenance that I hope will keep my 8 day without resupply food bag at less than ten pounds. I used to labor over a camp stove, lovingly chopping vegetables, while my wilderness ranger supervisor chowed down in minutes from a plastic bag. "I just like to eat and be done so I can explore," he stated. I've adopted that mindset too. In the best of times, I'm not a foodie, so why start on the trail? From the JMT I know that the "hiker hunger" won't really set in for a week or so, just in time to hit the Stehekin bakery....
I've also invested in another set of Merrell Siren Sports, this time the waterproof kind. I'm hoping this will help with wet vegetation. But it's going to be sunny the whole time, right?
The little Osprey pack is going to be either a pack attachment or a waist pack to hold camera, sunscreen, snacks--all the things I can grab while hiking without having to stop.
Next up in the mail is a very light backpack I am going to test out, and a sleeping quilt. Stop the madness! In the name of fairness, I am donating some older gear to make room for new gear. In a 1,000 square foot cabin with one closet, this keeps me from becoming a hoarder. And this, my friends, is why I work year round while some of my buddies do not. To afford new gear! What other reason is there to have a job?