Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A New Hope

So here I am, Brittany, trying again. Daniel may be inspired to continue to post about his past adventure, so unless he backdates his posts we may be seeing some 2008 info mixed in here in the future. Other than that, I think it's my story now. :)

To review: I hiked for two weeks last year, probably got a stress fracture, and hiked another week on said fracture. Daniel did not fully appreciate the badassery of my pain tolerance, and I did not fully appreciate my own stupidity. I said I was going to train and build bone hardness before I started again...but that flopped a little flop. Weight training in the fall was awesome, and January running was likewise, but I seem to have trouble with keeping interested in a single thing long term. Hm, 6-month hike...?

My plan for the near future: I will leave Monday, April 20. It was to be earlier, but I would have needed different gear. I'll be taking it RIDICULOUSLY easy to begin with, 5-7 miles a day the first week. Which means no 8-mile approach trail the first day. We'll drive to the summit and I'll backtrack to Springer Mountain to "start." I've already sworn not to become attached to hikers I meet early on, because I WILL NOT attempt to keep up. I will go at my RIDICULOUSLY slow pace. All attempts to trail-name me "Turtle" or "Escargot" will be countered with voodoo and bear-attractant spray. I'll take regular zero days to rest and heal, and I'll stop when I feel like I need to. I'll trust myself on this, and be liberal about it. Assuming I'm still good after three weeks, I'll be picked up to attend my department's spring graduation ceremony. I have a master's degree, darn it, and I need to make sure my "Younger Self" realizes it by attending this ritual. That break will take about a week since I depend on others for transport. Then, supposing all is well, it's back to the AT.

I realize I am statistically unlikely to complete a thru-hike. Something less than ten percent of those who attempt it complete it. So I'm not going to focus on that too much, and get bummed. Rather, this hike, however long it lasts, is about me. I have money and time to spare, and I'm going to have a good time. And it's about the time, not the distance or the places seen. I'll always be able to take a week off and see a magnificent peak, but I won't always be able to trudge along through the woods and enjoy myself with no commitments. In fact, I really need to get a job once this is over. A thru would be cool, and maybe it will happen, but it's not the goal anymore.

So wish me well, why don't you?