antici … pation

24 days out

“Remember what Bilbo used to say: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” –  J.R.R. Tolkien

Anticipation has me packing and re-packing my trail bag. Looking up new and lighter alternatives, contemplating tearing sections of my sleeping pad off. Replacing covers for electronics with bubble wrap which I know I will just throw away. Anticipation has me filling up my water bottles and water reservoirs under the pretense of ‘washing them out’ and loading up my bag with all the items and food and water I expect to carry and exclaiming “when did my pack get heavy? !!!”. Anticipation has me pacing around my apartment, with my pack and gaiters on, making circles around my packed-up belongings trying to feel how it will be to go up a hill with the full load. Up a mountain — all the way up to Canada — for five months!


This is what I do in the evenings.

In my anticipation I have my apartment packed up already. I bought five new duffle bags for my clothes and belongings. I needed new ones partially to replace the old and nearly worn through duffle bag my parents gave me years ago which had my initials embroidered on the side, black on black. The other bag I have used in many moves is my Navy sea bag, it developed a rip in the bottom at some point but still works, it has seen it’s share of airports, trunks, car roof travel and more. For some reason it makes me sad to see those old travel companions worn nearly to shreds, showing their age and me being more careful with them instead of just stuffing them full on the way out the door for another adventure.

All this anticipation, just waiting when you have everything ready that you can think of after a year of planning, of dreaming and finally you are on the cusp of that and like the slow clack of the roller coaster creeping up to the launch, you are with bated breath just waiting for the ride to start. In all my moves I have never had this much preparation, this much to worry about for small things going wrong like minor foot or leg injuries or screwing up my resupply and not having maps and socks or going hungry. Or, of hoping that I purchased the right gear after all that research and planning and weight considerations. What if I chose wrong? I also realize these are things that may happen, and I will be okay. I trust myself.

Right now it is like being in-between worlds, one I love and I am comfortable in and the new one steaming madly towards me built entirely of a powerful desire for adventure, and a savage thirst for life.

I am ready to go.

2 thoughts on “antici … pation

  1. Julie Lindsey

    Hey Joel, It’s your big sis Julie. Joy just gave me your blog address, I didn’t even know you had one. I just got done scanning your blog, and will take time over the weekend to read your posts. Your trip sounds so Exciting!!! I hope to meet up with you and hike from Leavenworth into Stehekin along with Joy. By that time you’ll have many great stories to tell.

    I’ll follow you along the way on this blog. When you’re at the kickoff in Mexico, if you run into Billy Goat, Preacher Jim or Jackalope say hello from the family they had dinner with and hung out with in Stehekin several years ago. I was making a big dinner while we were camping with all the kids and invited the three of them to share our meal. They were so appreciative, I could see they were tired and hungry as they sat soaking their feet in Lake Chelan. We also spent most of the next day with the three of them on a rainy day at the Stehekin Bakery putting together a giant puzzle as we talked, they shared their stories of the Pacific Crest Trail since leaving Mexico, fun memories.

    Cheers to your Big Adventure!!!


    1. joeldg Post author

      Julie, that is awesome, those guys are well known to PCT hikers and I will more than likely bump into them at kickoff. The Stehekin bakery is supposed to be something else, I have read about it in all the different blogs.



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