Time is ticking till departure… really ticking. Like a big bloody grandfather clock.
12 weeks till my new start date: April 1st. Apart from the ever so slightly better weather, that’ll leave me about 2 weeks after finishing work to make sure I tie up all loose ends I no doubt will have. Also more research and last minute gear shopping to make sure I’m not walking blind into this madness.
I’ll also get some extra time for red tape. Been having a few issues with the mail and paperwork the past month, though I think I’m on track now. Finally sent off my passport renewal application after receiving a vital piece of paper that I didn’t previously have. Then there’s the job of getting a 6 month US visa.
I see a lot of AT 2012 thru-hiker fellow-wannabes have most of their kit sorted, are physically well prepared, dehydrating food ready for sending to themselves at the various post offices along the way and so on. Fellow hikers yes, but I’d say my current level of preparedness is somewhere between “What 2200 mile hike?” and “Oh shit”.
Though I’m well read on the subject of the AT (Appalachian Trail), think I know what to expect, what I need, what I don’t but have almost zero experience, very little kit and a shopping list as long as your arm. I also have to lose some weight running and hiking round Mexico city and up volcanoes when I have the chance.
I’m a chubby mofo at the moment. my biggest worry isn’t the chance of injury, or the long wet walks in the snow and rain, or even stinking nearly constantly for months, not even the bears. No, my biggest worry is chafe. Chafe is a real killer. I guess once you get real big, chafe must be one’s biggest worry in life.
Starting to prepare myself physically, we’re eating much healthier (with the exception of yesterday!), stopped drinking the devil’s liquor and starting longer walks than I normally do. I did 12 miles around Mexico City with about 10 kilos on my back a couple days back. Ouch, and no hill in sight- Well, it’s the first step of many.
The first step of 5 million according to those who bothered to do the maths, impressive data, but I prefer the man-off winning statistic that the elevation gains and losses along the 2181 miles are equivalent to climbing up and down Mount Everest from sea level 14 times. A bit less extreme, one feels.
My inner thighs probably won’t think so, however.