The trip still feels so far away, but it is quickly becoming a reality and no longer an abstract concept.
Plane tickets purchased at New Years. Guide books bought and sufficient initial research completed. Sports bra that fits and isn’t trying to choke me to death bought. OK. Fine. But the dirty secret is that acquiring these things still does not make the trip REAL. I can wear the sports bra anytime, perhaps even to a…gasp!…gym. I can throw the guidebooks on a shelf and forget about them. I can take the flight and just hang out in London for six weeks (well, I really can’t afford London for six days let alone six weeks, but the concept still holds true).
But two things happened today that seal my fate; I am walking the Camino and cannot back out:
- The one-woman walk-a-thon is off the ground and running with $360 in pledges to support civil legal aid in Snohomish County JUST FROM TODAY.
- I am now the proud owner of a snazzy, somewhat intimidating backpack.
S**t just got real, friends!
To spend a few minutes thinking about anything other than this monster work event coming up (in exactly 31 days, by the way), the husband and I distracted ourselves Saturday night by going to the sporting goods store with the vague plan of “checking out gear.” We tried on every backpack meant for long hikes, we pulled down every sleeping bag for me to crawl into on the store floor (mummy bags are evil!), we rolled/stuffed/squished bedding into stuff bags into backpacks… you know, the usual stuff. It was absolutely overwhelming and we went home empty handed. Ugh. Suddenly working on event floor schematics on a Saturday night was more appealing.After putting up more event posters today, though, I found myself near Alderwood and so popped into REI. It was a very pleasant experience, still overwhelming but pleasant. What did I buy? A REI membership, for the first time in my life despite having been born and raised in Seattle. I know. Don’t judge.
But look, $20 on a membership is still a step. The guy working the hiking section was extremely helpful and I learned a lot! I promised him I would return in a few days to buy a backpack that he recommended. Turns out I will not be buying that backpack, though.
On a different note: do you know what the traditional anniversary present is for 24 years? Check out that chart —>
I’m pretty sure we gave each other paper for our first anniversary since we were both in school. I’m pretty sure we did NOT give each other endangered ivory for our 14th.
There’s nothing listed for the 24th anniversary, which is what we celebrated last night. I have been married to this man longer than I was single. He showed his love for me by buying me a North Face backpack. Isn’t that super romantic?
He probably knows I would procrastinate until the very last minute. He knows me well.
We stuffed it with clothes, all of the cloth dining room napkins, a few books that were in the living room, two full water bottles, the Cards Against Humanity box set that was within reach, and a bottle of wine. We were just going for test weight, everyone (though I can see myself hiking with a bottle of wine in my pack; it’s good we tested it). I zipped up, hoisted up, buckled up, and out the door to walk a few blocks. Of course, the neighbors were eyeing me suspiciously as I passed their homes. Lake City can be full of paranoid NIMBYs. I digress.
The pack is perfect! Happy anniversary, Al!
Items still to acquire:
- Shoes (umm, kind of important)
- Sleeping bag (not a stupid mummy bag!)
- A hat that fits my oversized Charlie Brown head. Everyone who knows me knows I hate hats.
- Something to replace my dying phone. It may not make it through February let alone to the end of May on the trail.
- A magic clock that allows me to slow time so I can survive this March 3 work event. It will be frustrating to start the hike already exhausted and sleep deprived!
You might consider purchasing a solar charger and a lifestraw.
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Thanks, Miya! I had purchased two solar chargers but just returned them yesterday because there were no instructions with the packaging nor online and I couldn’t figure out how to turn off the emergency light function on them. I need to replace that model with something else. I had never heard about Lifestraw before, but a quick google search tells me I must get one!