With one week to go before I jet off to San Diego, I wonder about the things I will miss most out on the trail. There are many unknowns about walking the PCT full time for four months (and I suppose that’s the point) but I do expect life to get pretty simple: Walk. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Of the four, eating and repeating loom as the most challenging.
In these waning days, Katrina and I have been visiting all of our favorite food places including a quick trip north to the Willows Inn on Lummi Island. There, the many dedicated acolytes transform locally sourced ingredients into ephemeral art.
Holy smokes. Anyone even mildly interested in food (or in need of scoring big points with the significant other) will be transported by the delicious, unique expressions of food there. My phone might just be full of food porn pics lest I forget that all meals needn’t be rehydrated.
If you know Katrina, you will know that her passion for cooking healthful food is only transcended by her ability to do it well. Without doubt, the empty place I expect to feel will have as much to do with hunger as it does with missing my home. She provides all the motivation I need to walk fast. Note the wine choice here. Kat assures me that it has nothing to do with the PCT and foreshadows only another luxurious absence in my life as a thru hiker. I almost had her convinced that REI now sells dehydrated beer and wine. Biblical references aside, I’d be happy for that little miracle but alas not.
Aside from missing my resplendent relationship with food, I wonder about coping with the simplicity of repetitive walking. Getting up every day with the only objective of putting one foot in front of the other seems brain numbing. My mind typically operates 24/7 solving puzzles, working out answers, planning next steps, and thinking about what’s to come. It’s pretty useful to jump out of bed having figured out how to rewire the vanity light in the bathroom while sleeping. I expect that to fall away as life gets real simple, real fast but perhaps that will create an opening for something else? Or maybe I’ll be so dog tired at the end of the day that I will just sleep. For the waking hours I have my iPod loaded with audio books and music but suspect that the quiet, stillness of nature will command attention and respect.
“Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.” -John Muir
So who knows what will come? I revel in the great good fortune of getting to find out for myself.