Thursday, November 10, 2011

My packs are back!

I got my packs back from the folks who made them today, only nine days after I sent them off to have their shoulder straps changed out. Finally, there are straps that are more comfortable for women and our particular shapes. ULA is the company and I can't say enough about the company and the customer service they provide. I have been using their packs since the first incarnation and have continued to wear them since then. I models I currently have are the P-1 and the Conduit. Both will be used extensively during my hike of the PCT in 2012. I got so excited I took pictures of them.... empty and bereft of stuff but you get the idea.

I guess you had to be there.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It looks like I'm going...

It has been hard for me to make the final commitment to attempt the PCT in 2012. I have all the usual concerns but once my land mate agreed to take care of my cats for the five month trip, that was the final roadblock. I somehow felt a weight lift off my back and I could really plan this thing for real.

There you have it... right there, to the left, you see the three states that are included in the Pacific Crest Trail - 2,650 miles from Campo, CA to Manning Park, British Columbia. The details remain to be considered and at some point decided. What kinds of gear to take for which parts of the trail? Do I prepare all or most of my food before the trip and send it along to post offices and other pickup places? Or buy as I go? How can I train to make it likely I'll be able to complete the hike without major injury? What is the right thing to do?

Many people who have done this hike tell the same story. You can plan and plan but once you get out there, you just have to adapt and roll with what comes your way. Those that are the most adaptable are most likely to complete. So I will practice flexibility and not become attached to things that are out of my control. I can control the exercise I do in preparation to hike, I can't control the weather I have to hike in. I can plan my food and send it along, yet I can't control whether or not it is at the post office when I arrive. Knowing the difference should help me weather the inevitable storms I am sure to experience. A famous (in trail circles) woman with the trail name of Yogi has coined a phrase I really like and will adopt for my own. Embrace the brutality. This may seem an odd statement but I am sure you can guess this adventure won't simply be a walk in the park. If I can embrace the hard parts as well as the beauty I am that much farther ahead to begin with.

I have begun a trail journal over at The name of the journal is Walking North, if you should want to follow along. I hope to eventually have a link on the journal which will show, on google maps, my actual wear abouts as I meander along. We will see.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Making a hammock

A couple of weeks ago I ordered some 1.1 oz ripstop nylon with the idea of making a hammock for my upcoming hike on the PCT. I sewed the perimeter first then gathered the ends, finally whipping the ends to make things nice and tidy, as well as secure. I pulled some whoopie slings off another hammock and anchored myself to the eye bolts I had previously set, gingerly sitting myself down on the thin fabric. Hey, it worked!  Some photos...

My new sewing machine!

Whipped end

Attached and ready for action