We won’t get on the trail until Wednesday, but today is the day it is starting to feel real. I have packed my pack, double-checked it on a spreadsheet, and started the process of second guessing everything.
I haven’t thought much about the specifics of the hike. The day-in/day-out pains, problems, and people (it is still peak time for thru-hikers to start the AT going northbound and the shelters will be crowded). You can only plan for so much and then just get there and do it.
I know that K and I can complete this hike once we manage to figure out our rhythm and our rolls. But it’s bound to be a difficult few days at the start. I’m nervous something will happen that makes one of us give up before we get our trail legs.
(Unlike our husbands who are nervous that we won’t get off the trail if a legitimate injury occurs. They are unimpressed by our “rub some dirt in it!” wound care method.)
And yes, I am nervous something will happen where I will want to quit. I will be sad if I twist my ankle to the point I can’t continue. But I will be devastated if some unforeseen non-injury situation makes me want to get off the trail.
I’ve wanted this hike (in some form or another) for almost two years. And I’ve tried hard to not get my expectations up. But now we are here and the weather forecast calls for rain four days out of our first week on the trail and my pack is magically two pounds heavier than expected and I just know I’ve forgotten something really important.
But I will close my eyes, take a deep breath, and then open my eyes before I trip over Pixie. Because dirt can’t fix a broken elbow.
So small, yet so heavy.