After months and months of preparation, we are finally ready to get on the trail. With each item checked off my to-do list, I can feel life simplifying. Soon there will be nothing left but to walk, eat and sleep.
Yesterday, we delivered the first of our boxes to the post office and the rest to Sarah’s house. Taping up, addressing and delivering these boxes full of food marked the end of a pretty huge project, in and of itself. I began dehydrating dinners in winter, and Ross diligently took over this spring. We’re proud to have made ourselves one homemade meal each for almost every day on the trail. This process alone is quite time consuming, combined with grocery shopping, preparing date bars and dividing up oats and other food items, it has been a part time job.
I’ve recently reflected on the amount of work Ross and I put into our food, not only for the trail, but our daily lives. I find myself always thinking about food – what to dehydrate next, what to eat next, did I bring enough snacks to my clinic shift, do we have enough dates for another batch of bars, should I have a second smoothie today? As a nutrition student, it’s no surprise that I put 95% of my effort into food.
When I ask myself if it is worth the time, my answer is yes, without a doubt. Food is what we put into our bodies. It becomes us. There are few things more intimate and more important than what you put into your mouth to eat. Along with water, it is the most basic of life sustaining practices and deserves a great deal of thought, time, and energy. I remind myself of this when I begin to feel overwhelmed with the task of preparing food for the next few months. We will be eating well, and that is unequivocally one of the most important factors of this adventure.
Monday morning we will be setting out from Hart’s Pass on the PCT, 30 miles south of Canada. First, we'll hike north to monument 78 marking the border. We will then turn around to begin our hike south to the Mexico border. Due to border patrol and strict US laws, we are not allowed to enter the country on foot from Canada. It has become tradition for South-Bound (SOBO) PCT hikers to start their hike in this “yo-yo” manner at the northern most access point within the US. We are bringing snow gear such as microspikes and ice axes, expecting to be traversing snow at elevations above 5,000 feet. Reports from other hikers have come back indicating that the snow is finally melting its way out, but still warrants caution. We're lucky to have Ross's exceptional navigation skills and my snow experience from Ned's course in February to get us through snowy sections. Joining us on these first few days of hiking is our friend Eric, who is kind enough to tag along and drive us to the trailhead.
As we prepare to set foot on the trail, we owe a huge thank you to those who have already given us so much support. In addition to those mentioned on our Thank You page, we’d like to acknowledge No Meat Athlete, Vegetarians of Washington, Hiking for Her and Sky Island Organics, all of whom have promoted our mission and our blog over the past few months. Thank you to everyone who has made this possible in so many different ways.
And now, we’re off to the mountains.
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