The Appalachian Trail

Today you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one alive, that is youer than you
— Dr Seuss

My blogging hasn’t quite been going the way I wanted it to. I thought I would be posting more. But that’s how it always is, isn’t it. There’s this ideal of what I want to be doing, and then what actually happens. I won’t promise daily updates again, and I won’t say that I’ll be planning more structured posts or big essays this time. I’m going to write for the blog when I can, which hopefully will be more often going forward. But if not, bear with me.

Anyway I have a bit of spare time tonight. It is already a bit late (20:48 as of this second, but remember that I usually get up very early), but I wanted to do a quick post about some things going on in my life.

Firstly, I finally cleaned out my kitchen and have therefore been willing to spend more time in it, so I’ve been cooking a lot more. I found this great app called Mealime. Basically it’s a meal planning app. You pick the meals you want for the week, it creates a grocery list of exactly what you need to buy, then you cook. Very simple. There is a subscription model which seems a bit expensive to me at $70 CAD a year. I bought a month of the subscription, and I’m going to try that out, then try it without the subscription and see if I still get use out of it. Basically the only things a subscription gets you is nutritional info (with no way to export so I can’t use it with calorie trackers like My Fitness Pal), and a bunch of extra recipes. From what I can tell a lot of the pro recipes look amazing, but there were some pretty stellar non pro ones too. Besides, during this month I have pro I’m going to write down all the recipes I won’t be able to access without a subscription. Mwahahahaha.

 Chicken Breast with Sweet Potato Mash and fried Sugar Snap Peas. One of the best meals I’ve made, ever.  

Chicken Breast with Sweet Potato Mash and fried Sugar Snap Peas. One of the best meals I’ve made, ever.  

Other than work the only other thing that’s been going on in my life right now is an extremely high amount of time spent thinking about the Appalachian Trail. I’m not 100% sure if I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, and I’m far too lazy to go back and check. This year, in exactly 48 days actually, I’m leaving for Georgia to start hiking north on the 2189 mile long Appalachian Trail, from Springer Mountain to Mount Katahdin in Maine. Well, I’m starting the hike in 50 days, I left myself a bit of room to get some logistic things sorted out for when I get to the states. I’ll be setting out on the trail on March 7th, 2018. My 25th birthday!

I first got the idea for this hike probably two and a half years ago. I don’t remember the exact time, but I remember exactly what I was doing when the thought that this might be something I want to do popped into my head. I was driving south, just entering Dawson Creek BC in a tank truck (not the one I currently drive), listening to audiobooks. I had just started “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson, and the gears in my mind started turning, thinking “Hey, this sounds just like the life changing experience I need right about now”. I know, I had visions of grandeur back then. I was beginning to feel stuck in a rut, and that I was going to hit my 30’s and still be stuck in the north driving truck, which was something I greatly did not want. I had decided that before I finished my 25th year, I would do something big and exciting. The AT seemed like the perfect fit.

Now, those are kind of bad reasons on their own, but as I thought about it more over the years and let it stew in my mind, the idea quickly took on a different shape and changed to reality. I no longer wanted to do it just to get away from my life, but I wanted to do it because thought it would be fun. A challenge. Breaking the monotony of daily life is just a bonus at this point. So now here I am, nearly 3 years later, getting ready to leave for a 5 month hike through the wilderness of the United States.

There will be more posts about the AT over the next month and a half. I predict that it will be the primary focus of my writing until I leave for the trail. Once all of my gear comes in I’ll be posting details about what I’m taking, how I’m planning my hike, the tools I’ll be using both physical and electronic, etc. For now, you can take a look at my lighterpack which lists everything I’m taking with me along with their weight. When I first started putting together a list of items in my head, I thought that I wanted my pack to be somewhere around 20-25 pounds. When I started researching gear, I thought that 15 pounds would be an amazing goal for my “base weight”, which essentially is just the weight of the pack and all the items in it, not counting consumables like food and water, or clothing you wear. Now, as my trip draws ever nearer, I’ve gotten my base weight down below 12 pounds. I spent a lot of money, probably way too much to be honest, doing it, but there it is. Just keep in mind the weights might change a bit as I get in the gear that I’ll be taking and get the actual weights, not just the ones listed on the website.

 Me on a shakedown hike to the Cascades near Tumbler Ridge, BC in September, 2017

Me on a shakedown hike to the Cascades near Tumbler Ridge, BC in September, 2017

That’s all for me tonight. Thanks so much for reading. I would love for you to leave a comment telling me about any big plans you have for 2018, or even beyond. Also, what kinds of things have you been cooking recently? I’m always looking for recipes.