Saturday, March 29, 2014


I leave home tomorrow and will drive down to Riverside Co to visit family for a few days. Angela will fly down next week and then on Friday at 7 am she will drop me off at the border. Our friends Chris and Lisa will also be there and I'll be joined by my hiking pals Diane and Caroline. The weather forecast is to be in the 60's during the day and 40's at night for the first three days. Other than having to carry lots of water, it couldn't be a better start to the hike. And because it won't be hot we won't have to carry quite so much water, even though our first night will be a dry camp so we need enough water for dinner and breakfast the next morning. On day two we only have four miles till the next water source so it seems like it will be pretty easy… or easy enough I guess.

This morning I loaded up my pack with all gear, five liters of water and food for three days and it weighed in at 25 pounds. Not too bad really and it could be bunches worse. This is, in part, because I've upgraded my gear to include more down than I've used in the past. I managed to take some photos of the newest goodies and they are as follows.

Montbell down jacket

Montbell down pants

Zpacks down hood and a Turtlefur beanie

Well this is it for now. I still have way too much to do before I leave at zero dark-thirty tomorrow morning so I've got to sign off now. I'll be communicating via phone from now so expect less than stellar spelling and awkward sentence structure. It's much harder to edit on that little beast. Stay tuned for big adventure!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Getting there

Yesterday I piled all my boxes (32 of 'um) into my van and drove them over to Angela's place. I was amazed to find they tucked nicely into her clothes closet, so it appears they won't take up too much room in her small home. That done I can finally deal with putting stuff away and cleaning the floors for once. Since it is raining today I guess I'll wait till it gets less muddy. What's that old saying? "Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow?" Something like that…
I've been doing pretty well on my long lists and I was actually thinking I might get everything done before leaving-home day. But because it wouldn't be life if things went entirely smoothly I got a call back from the Dermatologists office asking me to call them back on the results of some skin spots I had removed last week. It appears I have a common cancer called Squamous Cell Carcinoma that needs to be surgically removed before I leave on Sunday. Remarkably I was able to get an appointment for this Friday to do the deed but I'll be sporting stitches when I hit the trail. 7-10 days later, approximately at Laguna Mountains - mile 42ish, I'll need to find a way to remove the stitches. It can't be that hard, right?
Fortunately, it was a small spot to begin with so hopefully there won't be too big a hole in my forearm. It's all those years as a lifeguard and outside worker coming back to haunt me. Oh well. I guess I'm lucky to have lived long enough to get this thing in the first place. Polyanna rocks!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Al-righty then

Dang. I've got six days till I take off for LA and family visiting. The good news? All my resupply boxes are done and ready to be mailed by my oh-so-trusty and remarkable girlfriend/partner for forever, Angela. All that remains for me to do is to get them to her art studio tomorrow, where they will await mailing. Truly, I couldn't do this without her support and doggedness.

Last time around (two years ago) I was feeling very different. Terrible intestinal trouble - I thought I might be getting an ulcer I was so verklempt. I was scared and…what? I don't know what. But I guess I was feeling so unsure of myself that I didn't know if I'd manage 100 miles…who could even think of 2,663.5 miles? Well, hey. I've walked 700 miles of hot, dry, waterless desert and I think, and believe, I will be able to do it again.

If there is such a thing as temperament and tendency, I have always been a scared individual. I was raised to be polite, kind and well, British in nature. Not that Brits as a people are timid, au contraire. But there is something about learning to be kind, appropriate and polite that can make a perfectly wild child kinda timid. You could say I've spent the past six decades learning to push against this kind of conditioning. Girl training is part of it. I remember the adult women in my youth saying that it was important to let the menfolk think they were the smarter ones. Really? Who ever thought that would be a good idea? Maybe people without economic power…? Well, never mind why, it is still a lesson I learned that follows me everywhere I go. When you have to temper your own talents against someone else's ego…Well, it isn't often a very good outcome.

Even given all of that, in ten days I will leave my perfectly wonderful life, home and friends/family/animal friends and start walking north, to Canada. What a crazy idea! I can't really say why this is a good idea but to me it seems right. I am a simple person with a silly idea but I hope to make it happen.