Friday, April 9, 2010

PCT Prep Update #4: Waiting and Traditions

Kathadin/Antarctic Water
(5/8 of a dram or about 2 ml)

It's come to be that time where I must patiently wait. To most people, this time is an uncomfortable and anxious time. I relish in it. I know the day will come when I am strolling down the trail, but that day is not today. Today I go about my day with a smile because I am not only fortunate to have a good life with good and incredible people around me, but because I know I will be walking soon enough.

In the mean time, I can pick up the last of my necessities and take care of the last of my planning. I have 95% of my food now, and 98% of my supplies. I will head up to Rochester NY on the 20th and finish my packing there before setting off. In two weeks I'll again be walking.  

I will also be keeing myself busy in the next two weeks by frantically making final edits to my manuscript in the hopes of getting it submitted to the Journal of Glaciology before I leave.

So what's with the small vial/bottle?

As silly as it may sound to many of you, I have always been one that likes little traditions to help motivate me on my journeys. For those of you that watched my AT videos, you'll know I carried a small card with a picture of katahdin and a random NJ sign on it. I also carried a small pebble from springer mtn until i lost it somewhere in virginia (meant for katahdin). Lastly, I carried my late father's dog-tags with me every day, until on August 15th I proudly laid them on the sign on top of Mt. Katahdin. It's little things like this that give me that extra sense of silly as the traditions or superstitions may be.

For this hike it's very simple. I will again be carrying my dad's dog-tags...this time with extra meaning (since I'm hiking to raise money for the American Heart Association in my dad's honor). Also, I will be carrying a small card with a small picture on each own personal motivators.  Lastly I will be carrying this small vial of water from the Mexican border north until I quit. What's the deal with the water you may be asking?   It's simple.

On August 15th, 2007, when I finished the AT, I scooped up water from Thoreau Spring (the last water source before the end of the trail).   I've saved that water and now put some of it in this small vial. Also in December of 2008, while in Antarctica, I scooped up some snow in a small container from in the middle of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and brought it home (now melted of course). Some of this water was also now put into the small vial. So what I have, is a small vial of water, mixed from one place symbolizing that I can complete anything I put my mind to, and from another place that symbolizes the farthest reaches on this planet I'm willing to go, or have gone...and that no place is too extreme to explore. This is what will drive me. The day I finish or quit the PCT, I will pour this water out where I finish.

I am also going to bring a 2nd small empty vial that I will fill with sand from the start and carry with me.

So there you go. I am a ridiculously superstitious weirdo apparently, but these little things are important to me. In two weeks, me and my small water vial will be heading to Campo to walk for a while.

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