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Country: United States
Begins: Jun 15, 2012
Date: Mon, Jun 11th, 2012
Start: Helena, MT
End: Helena, MT
Daily Distance: 0
Entry Visits: 1,999
Journal Visits: 3,915
Guestbook Views: 309
Guestbook Entrys: 4
T-Minus 3 Days!!
Time warp! One day I was complaining about how far away our start date was, then woke up with only 3 days to accomplish a foot-long list of to-do's. Ahhh!! I've been busy finishing up work (at the BEST local elementary school with the BEST kids and co-workers) and seeing as much of Montana as possible before leaving for 3 months. As excited as I am for the PCT, it will be hard to give up a summer of exploring Glacier, the Bob Marshall, Yellowstone, the Beartooths...but I suspect it will all be here when we get back.
After finally cramming the last possible bar into our mail-drop boxes and mashing dehydrated curry meals into my bear canister, my food is all ready to go. The gear situation is another story. After this last weekend trip with my girlfriends, my homemade Caldera cone (clone) proved itself to be an effective and efficient addition to my cook system. However, I pushed it too far when I tried to farm it out as a windscreen for my friend's canister stove. If anyone else is clueless enough to try this, DON'T. The aluminum just can't take the heat. Back to the workshop for me. At least this will give me a chance to make another pop-can alcohol stove (zen stove) for a back-up.
The other last-minute gear conundrum is my pack. Do I abandon my tank-like Osprey Ariel 65 that has served me faithfully my entire backpacking career, or cross over to the Light side with the Granite Gear Crown AC 60 Ki that just arrived, slim and sexy and built for speed? I know, it's a personal decision. But I'm a sucker for peer pressure, and the Vapor Trail (GG's predecessor to the Crown) is what all the cool thru-hikers carry, or so I hear. So you'll probably see me wearing a Crown on the trail.
I never knew a relatively sane person would send more on hiking gear than her car is worth, but here I am...at least for another 3 days. Then I'll be flying to LA, over a thousand bucks in gear in the cargo hold, to meet my hiking partner and the only person I could survive one hundred days of constant contact - and the only person who can survive me...hopefully. Andrew is the reason I believe I can do this crazy thing, and if we reach Canada without driving each other insane then I believe we can do anything together. Thanks Shaggy, I love you!
And HUGE thanks to my parents for being our Mission Control here in Montana. They'll be mailing our packages, sending forgotten items and fending off bill collectors (just kidding!) while we're hiking. I'm sure there's some level of vicarious living going on, but it's still a huge help and responsibility. So thanks folks, we love you!
I'll try not to exhaust your limits of interest and attention with this one entry, since I'm hoping you'll come back and read the REALLY interesting ones, after we start hiking. Check in every few days, and sign the guest book! I'll be thinking of you all.
A Girl, Shoes, And Miles Of Trail
Lauren (for now)
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