In exactly one month from today I will be driving up to Johnson Vermont to start my epic adventure. Stud, Travis and myself will load up in the Studs car with just our backpacks which I will be living out of for the next month. We will find the trailhead in Johnson Vermont where we will park Studs car and then get picked up by a local Vermonter who will shuttle us up to the Canadian border and all the way to the end of the rugged Journeys End Road where the Journeys End Trailhead begins.
In the meantime, I am tying up lose ends, gathering last bits of things for my resupply boxes that I will be packing with Travis in a couple weeks. Most of my food is bought and ready to be packaged up. I’ve been working as much as possible in an effort to not be totally broke by October and I think I’m going to be in descent shape. My work has been a good mental training ground for thru-hiking. My work is very physical so I drink a lot of water and stop every two hours to sit for five minutes and eat a snack. At lunch I often take my boots off and air out my sweaty tired feet. Sometimes I even lay down on the floor for a few minutes to recharge. I talk to myself and say things like, “You can do this bigT. Just get this, that, and the other thing done and then you can rest for a minute.” (I think this sometimes when hiking…like if I can just make it to the next peak or one more mile, then I can stop for a few minutes)
And when I’m scared on a ladder sometimes I get really hardcore in my head and grit my teeth and sort of drill sergeant myself. (I’ve definitely thought this way on some rock scrambles). When I get super draggy and tired I will have this moment where I realize I am dwindling and I sort of shake my head, chug some water and push thru it and like will myself to move faster. (I do this a LOT when hiking).
Also, surfing helps. Surfing scares me. The ocean scares me. I talk a lot to myself and push thru a lot of fear when surfing…well not exactly while surfing…more like while I’m trying to manage my board thru the break water or waiting for a wave. Catching a wave and getting up is a different story. Thats like ridge walking a mellow grade trail with 360° views.
Exciting things in the meantime are some day hikes and some car camping! I’m organizing a Youth Hike in the Blue Hills with a bunch of BAGLY Youth thats being sponsored by The Venture Out Project. I’ve wanted to share the woods with BAGLY Youth for as long as I’ve been hanging out in LGBTQ Youth Spaces and thanks to The Venture Out Project, I am making it happen. I’ve got about twenty-ish young people signed up to go walking with me in the Blue Hills on a Saturday morning and I’m thrilled and so are they. Tracy and I have some fun car camping trips where we will have a chance to fire up the dutch oven and the reflector oven and swim and just be outside together with friends and family and play games and fun stuff like that.