Prep Day

November 2nd, 2012
The Pennine Way!
Harrow, England, another of London's many suburbs.

It’s Friday, November 2nd, six years to the day since I completed my last thru-hike. That one was along the world’s longest and most magnificent continuous path, the Pacific Crest Trail. Tomorrow, Ruth and I will be setting out for a much shorter version (just 1/10th of the Pacific Crest Trail’s length, in fact), a Thru-Hike Lite. Fewer calories, but presumably with all the aftertaste! For what it’s worth, post-epic-journey aftertaste is always a sweet one, and I look forward to it again, so long as I can digest the whole experience. Rarely do I attempt anything without the intent to finish it in its entirety. And even though I wrestle with the whole notion of what precisely an “adventure” is, I know the longer it tends to last, the better chance I have of attaining one.

Sticking to a specific route or path is not necessarily an adventure, certainly not one that hasn’t been accomplished before. But the whole premise of “adventure” is an individual thing---an inner journey, not an outie---and so while others may have already had their experiences, similar as they may be, they do not and will not affect ours.

Ruth is a first-time backpacker and is anxious about getting all caught up with work before tomorrow, and about the odyssey ahead. I assured her that despite my experience I’m nervous too, which helped add to her nervousness, which in turn helps add to mine. In all truth, the nerves are really just a byproduct of our excitement. We’re eager to see what’s ahead---we both love England, maybe even more than our own country---and to see whether we can weather the weather or whether we cannot. There’s only one way to know for sure and tomorrow, by being out there, we’ll start to find the answer out.

The forecast calls for fun...

And this is for a substantially lower elevation than where we’ll generally be.


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