Well… I’m as nervous as the next guy, I imagine! But here it is, January 2, and my birthday! I’m not worried about training and eating right and hike prep today. Honestly, I’m trying not to worry about much of anything today—my birthday gift to myself. 🙂
There’s a lot to be done. This week, first and foremost, I have to get the taxes together. One of the issues for a self-employed thru-hiker is that not only do I have to pay my 2012 taxes before I hit the Trail, but I have to pay my 2013 taxes, too. That’s probably my biggest paperwork issue at the moment, and it’s time-consuming. A detail, though.
Everything that’s left is a detail.
The gear is dialed down. I’ll probably dump some stuff at Neel (or Neels—I can’t decide, and sources vary) Gap. Maybe not, though. My pack weight with a max load of winter gear, five days’ worth of food, and a liter of water is 29 or 30 pounds (I’m fussing around with a few ounces). I’m fine with that, for now. (It will go down after Mt. Rogers, when I can send the winter stuff home.)
The arrangements are made. There are details there, too: extra keys to be made, that sort of thing.
And of course, life goes on. This morning my keyboard broke. I have a backup that I’m using. I’d like to not buy anything before I get back, because who knows what I’ll be thinking then? My roof has developed a leak, so I need to get that sorted.
Details, details, details.
For hiking prep… well, hiking and working are butting heads. I can’t walk every day because I’ve got February deadlines. The best thing I can do for myself is take some days (even weeks) away from the trail, since it’s all snowy and treacherous anyway, and finish up the work as fast as I possibly can. That would give me some weeks in February to start amping up the training. I’d like to do more, but I don’t think I’ll be able to—and I’m OK with that. I’m in good physical shape, more or less. The twenty pounds I’d like to lose will just have to work themselves out on the Trail.
The big issue is this arthritic knee of mine. I feel like I’m starting the hike with a giant strike against me. On the other hand, it doesn’t limit my motion in any way, manner, means, or form. It just hurts. So: will the hiking change that? Will the pain increase to the point where I can’t use it? I’m worried about that—quite a lot, in fact. But it is what it is. It hurts at home, too. The only place it doesn’t hurt is when I’m actually walking. If it drives me off the Trail, well, I suppose I’ll be a section hiker. And in fact, I think I’ll probably be fine. But I’m a worrier.
So there it is. The state of the state on my 52nd birthday, and the year in which I tackle the last thing on my bucket list. (After this, I’m going to need a new list.)
Happy 2013! May the weather be mild and the ticks be few! 🙂 (That’s an old Rocksylvania saying that I just made up.)
Oh, and by the way… good luck to Rifle and anybody else who started on January 1. I’m reading your journals while you blaze the Trail. Smooth sailing to you all!