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Getting ready for the hike so early and not waiting until the last minute is proving problematic in the sense that I have time to look into different gear. I was going to hike the CDT with everything I had from the PCT, with only one upgrade, my sleeping bag, from a synthetic to a down bag. Then there was the half off ‘friends and family’ coupon for Mountain Hardware. I spent a lot of money on upgrades, which I feel will make a big difference in my safety and comfort on the trail.
Time rolls on, I play with my gear, then I find something on line or think of something I saw on the PCT, which is the case this time. When I met ‘Pelligrino’ she had on a pack the likes of which I had never seen before. The AarnPack. It was loaded with pockets on the chest. It seemed a bit awkward, but my ultimate frustration with backpacks is the inability to access anything you need while hiking. The tiny hip pockets are nearly useless to me, and in the end, were loaded with holes.
Pelligrino eventually swapped out her aarnpack for an ultralight. She told me recently that there were some issues with it she didn’t like, but I can’t help but think that the pockets to hold everything that I would need would be a grand thing, especially since i tend to take breaks with my pack still on…
But alas, I have my Osprey pack that I love… but some day, I want the opportunity to play with one of these.
Because I don’t like typing on that tiny little keyboard on my iPhone, I bought this. It seems frivolous, but I’m hoping it will help my interest in sharing. If you followed me on the PCT you know my blogging was terrible. My hand written journals are a sad mess of abreviations. So this might help. It’s smaller than a keyboard, BUT it has keys I like; delete, forward and back arrows… The inability to backspace on the iPhone irritates the heck out of me. Cost – $14. So what am I adding to my pack weight? 4.8 ounces. Bonuses though, – it’s RED!!! ( I misplace things in my tent quite easily, so my goal is to have everything a different color… and red is rad)…and according to the ad on Amazon, I can type in a sand storm, wash it any time, it’s wireless (which means I’ll loose some battery life on the phone while using it) … i can roll it up in a tube I use for my cords… it’s really ideal (I say that now….)
So here’s hoping it’ll inspire me to type on the trail more than I did last year….
Yeah. It’s true. I just started a job last week. What to do next is driving me crazy.
I over think everything, so that’s really all this is…. Me Over Thinking! But Publicly, so maybe I’ll work it out as I type.
Post PCT I moved to the Portland area and began the search for a job to get me through until the CDT. I have known all along that the CDT may not happen in 2013 because of funds. My job search was vast, and often way off track from what I used to do (industrial painting) because the work schedule can be rough and often include Saturdays. I began REALLY missing my old job up near Spokane… So much so that I kept thinking of moving back just so I could get back to work. I’ve learned to live very minimal – for the first time in my entire life! – but I still have bills to pay and my other half is so graciously letting me live rent free so I can funnel all funds into the CDT.
Two weeks ago I received a phone call from a company about a job I applied for and really thought might be a good fit. The problem is, I sent my resume to them just before I committed to the CDT by purchasing $1000 in food (If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know the commitment all started with finding a ridiculously good deal on Oreos/Nutter Butters/Fig Newton Snack Packs at a gas station for 14 cents each). I went to the interview and after hearing about the benefits they offer – MOST important to me – One Week of vacation offered after only Six Months and it accrues that way every six months. Starting all over in a blue collar job market I never expected to find such a deal with vacation time…. VERY IMPORTANT to have vacation when you’re a backpacker ! (and when you have family that lives more than 2000 miles away.)
Well they offered me the job. I started last week. I figured two things – 1) I may not like the job or they might not like me so I could quit June 1 and go hiking. 2) I could beg forgiveness from the people who have donated to fund my CDT 2012 adventure and push it off until 2014. I LIKE to work. I like the stability it brings to my life because I don’t do well when left to manage my own time. I have a great track record for working, and I NEEDED a job for many reasons beyond finances. But I never expected to be back at work just before the hike. The company has now purchased very expensive Red Wing Boots, Coveralls with my name on it will be here next week, they’re bugging me about turning in Insurance paperwork (that’s right, insurance ALREADY!!!) …. I’m giving them my all and showing them what I’ve got and they’re investing time and money in training/employing me, and here I am on the fence about what to do. I WANT TO WORK HERE !!! But I can’t NOT hike the CDT this year. What happens if something goes wrong this year and I can never long distance hike again?
What happens if…. the answers are endless and unknown.
I just wish I didn’t like the job so much. The longer I’m there the more I feel I’m deceiving them, and that is NOT what I want… That’s not who I am.
So why not stay, hike another year, send off my already packaged up food stash to hikers on the CDT and PCT …. It’s money lost but …. NO! I need to go hiking. I NEED this more than I need a job right now.
So, here’s my ideal situation. In a few weeks I go in and tell them I want to work there. I tell them I feel I’m an asset (I work hard and if there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that I have a great work ethic), and that I really like their company and would like to grow with them… But explain that there’s something I gotta do first. At this point, they could fire me, but I’d love it if they kept me on until June 1, then I could go see my parents in Missouri (I haven’t seen them since they sent me off on the PCT a year ago Sat April 6 – then I return to start a slow hike on the CDT since I will have had little training (that’s OK, I didn’t train much for the PCT either)…. then hope they’ll have an opening to hire me when I return in November.
I want this job.
I want to hike more….
If something goes wrong – I’ll never regret not having a job the way I’ll regret not hiking the CDT.
SO…. that’s where I’m at…. what a mess.
It’s March 26th! What better day to tell you about the March photo on your hiking26.com calendar !
This is Dorothy Lake – June 21st, 2012 – Pacific Crest Trail Mile 998. One of the many memorable lakes along the PCT. Located in California near the PCT exit from Yosemite. Although I was VERY anxious to keep moving on, for our 1000 PCT mile mark laid just ahead, I couldn’t help but take advantage of this gorgeous view.
I’m standing on a sandy beach just off the trail. I had been hiking with ‘Memphis’ this day, King Knuttella, Nightengale, and Collector were just behind (soon to catch up at the 1000 mile marker). I wasn’t crazy about the angle of the camera vs. where I stood on the beach, but the wind was so much that I had to pick the most stable bush to secure the camera to. Then, once I set up the camera, I took off my shirt and was bombarded by mosquitoes. They hide behind you on a windy day, you can feel them slam into you…. They were pretty awful. So short and sweet, photo taken, bug bitten and on my way to celebrate 1000 miles of hiking….
So now you know…
Oh…. And the gown – One of my favorites, a donation from Tracie Javanovic Pinet – Thanks Tracie !!!
I have never been so tight with my money in all my life. Saving every penny for the CDT has been an interesting experience for me. While prepping for the PCT I would stop and buy sodas ever time I ran into town, lunch was a daily affair, mainly because, at least the last four months prior to hiking I was living in a barn and the kitchen was across the yard in the house. I was so incredibly scatter-brained with donation collections, gown collections/fittings/alterations and getting ready for six months of living from my pack that I didn’t realize (probably as I never have) just how much money is wasted through all of these little purchases. I also lived in a town of 2000, so bargain shopping was useless.
I finally bought every last bit of food I’ll be mailing to the CDT. 686,688 calories for $1062.33. That’s 165 Days or 23 weeks of food. I’m figuring shipping cost of $25 per food drop to the trail. Flat rate boxes aren’t large enough for all the food I have. This time around I see everything I want as the equivalent of a trail expense. Dinner would cost a food ship, that soda would buy an entire box of Cheez-its if they’re on sale. I wear the same few outfits as clothing, even from Good-will would be a purchase and therefore equated to less money for the trail…. I’m rather proud of myself, yet thankful for all that are helping me out. I’m well taken care of at home, my expenses are pretty much non-existent as I prep. I try not to think of the mass quantities of money I wasted prior and during the PCT hike, but my stress level was through the barn roof and I wasn’t able to prepare the way I can now. Although this trail will be dramatically different, I’m reassured by my experience with all that is normally daunting to a new thru-hiker. I’m can’t say I won’t miss the great food variety my family provided me last year, but this year, at least, I know it’s paid for.
As you can see, I started a fund raiser account through GoFundMe, which was a difficult decision. I begged for so long on the PCT, and i just wanted to cover the cost of this hike on my own, but finding temporary work in a new city post PCT was more difficult than I expected. I could have waited another year to hike, but the CDT is all I can think about. I few people asked for an easy way to donate and this seems to be the way. GoFundMe is easy although they keep a percentage, thus the reason I shot high with $3000 – The funds raised through that site will cover costs of camping when I have to hitch 20+ miles into a town, need to shower and do laundry, buy cheese and tortillas, but can’t get a hitch back to the trail before dark. Running into town is a very stressful event for me. I love small towns and get distracted by all there is to see, but on an incredibly tight budget, even supplementing my calorie intake by eating a hearty meal, will have to go by the wayside. Proper socks are insanely expensive at $15/pair or more, so fund raising pays for these things too.
The fact of the matter is, I feel guilty asking for money. I should have taken a year off, but I just can’t mentally do it. So once again, I’m at your mercy, and try to provide as much entertainment as possible for you to vicariously live through my hikes. I thank you all so very much for contributing in every way possible…. from a message of encouragement, to a pat on the back, to a financial contribution… it all matters to me, and I’m incredibly thankful….
If you’re interested in helping out with my CDT hike, you can donate here, or contact me directly at email@example.com
Thanks so much !!!
Ron – Trail name ‘Train’