Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Breathing, Buzzing and Busting it Out

As the title of this post indicates, I'm reverberating with excitement. 

All-of-a-sudden-like:  my Grand Adventure!  It's here!  I'm hitting the trail!  For 4 months!!

I've spent the past few months getting my body in order.  My body was angry.  We had to do a little re-building from the ground up.  It's taken awhile to re-establish our relationship, but I like to think I'm new and improved.  Ater being injured for an extended period of time, I'm still learning to trust my body. But, I'm feeling strong as well as cautiously nervous.  Like I said, I'm still learning to trust.

The prep has been a little crazy.  The past few months have been a little crazy.  While I'm not a girl who is proned to stress, I've had to remember to breath.  :)  Inhale!  Exhaaaaale.  My work will be rewarded.  Patience, Grasshopper.  But really, I've missed being out on the trails in Banff.  I've spent way to much time inside this spring.  Baaaa, the gym.  I try to love it, but I hate it.  I've missed the trail.  I've certainly been out there marching around the woods with my pack on, but I haven't quite had the number of epic adventures that I have grown used to.  It's a good thing I've got a major adventure right around the corner because I'm so ready for quality time on the trails.

So.  I hit the trail in a week! 

I'm a self-confessed lousy organizer, so I'm as ready as I'll ever be.  All that is left is to get on the trail and get walking.  Last weekend, I packed up my re-supply boxes, looked over the maps and trail towns and got really, really excited.  Reading all about the trail towns and the places in between gave the trail a little more shape in my mind.  I've got all sorts of things and places and people to look forward to visiting out there.  But, I'm focusing on one step at a time and one foot in front of the other.  I think my Ultra mind set will serve me well.  While I'm certainly know expert, I've learned some valuable lessons with my many, many miles spent on the trail.  But, really - this is brand new territory for me.  While there have been backpacking trips in my youth and fast-packing trips in recent years, this is a different beast.  I've got plenty to learn.  Hopefully, fingers crossed - the body will provide.  Either way, I'm going to have fun trying. I'm buzzing with anticipation and excitement!!

What's the plan?

Well, Keith will be driving Angela and I out to Hart's Pass in Washington next Monday and Tuesday.  Yay!  Finally!  I am PCT bound. Whoop! Whoop!  I'll start my hike on August 1st with Angela who is going to join me for the first few weeks.  The Amazing Ms. Angela is a fine trail companion and amongst other things is a PCT Class of 2009 Alumni.  She's successfully hiked the PCT before from Mexico to Canada.

Hart's Pass trail head is a gravel road in the middle of nowhere and it's the closest spot to the border.  From there, we will hike 30 miles Northbound to Monument 78 and the Canadian border.  Then, we'll turn around and walk the trail back to where we started.  We get to do this "bonus loop" because the US Government doesn't permit people walking across the border at random wilderness crossings.  Understandable. You've got to cross at an official border crossing.  And I don't want to get shot.  So, I'll do a bonus lap to the border, tag the border and turn around.  It's supposed to be quite the gorgeous and ass-kicking 30 Miles, so I'm looking for ward to start it despite how strange it seems to be doing it this way.

Aaaaah, Washington!  The first state on my Pacific Crest Trail journey.  I long to explore your steep mountains, your vast green forests and your moss covered slopes.  The Cascades are huge.  I've never explored them before and it's a rather intimidating start even for this mountain girl.  The trail is tough out there.  The snow is still leaving this corner of the world and I suspect I'll have wet feet all day every day.  The creeks are still raging and a few bridges are washed out.  It's going to be a challenge right off the start.  I'm very glad for Angela's fine company.  Having company for the first couple of weeks will be a wonderful way to start my journey.  And then I'll be on my lonesome....

It's non-stop big mountains all the way to the Columbia River Gorge - and I imagine lots of dark, green, thick bush. And mosquitoes.  'tis the Season.  Fingers crossed that the weather cooperates and the bugs don't carry me away.  I suspect, when I roll into Cascade Locks and the Columbia River Valley I'll be a tired, dirty, happy girl.  I also think my timing is going to be serendipitous for meeting many of the Northbound "herd" of hikers!   So, perhaps there may be a bit of socializing to be done in this little trail town. It will be most definitely a welcome day-off.

In my mind, I've mapped out each section of Washington.  The mail-outs, the stops and the brief places of civilisation in between are all little things to look forward to.  But, the trail....oh, the trail!  This is what I'm most looking foward to discovering.  Magical new places.  And, the Pacific Crest Trail is loaded with them.  For a girl like me who likes nothing more than spending long days on the trail - it really is my idea of a dream holiday.  I can do this thing that I like to do day after day, after day!!  New places, new people, new scenery, new trails.  Every day, all day.  It's a dream trip for me, fer sures.  I'll be out there for months!!  How exciting is that!!  And if I stop having fun, or my body explodes, or I miss my husband - it's quite simple:  I'll stop.  With no regrets.  Because really, it's all about the adventure.  Whatever the adventure beholds, I'm ready and welcoming.  It's time for this girl to bust it out.


Kaz said...

Have an awesome trip lady! Glad the body is behaving again. By the time you finish in 4 months, I'll have 2 wee ones, the second being 1 month old!!! How crazy is that. I think my body may be more broken in that time than yours! LOL! Take care, lady. Can't wait to hear about it when you can update!

Ingunn said...

Awesome!! I'm a huge armchair PCT-hiker. ;)

We still have a lot of snow in the Cascades, but the forecast looks good and warm for the next week...and you're used to snow travel anyway. You'll have a blast, and maybe the mozzies will stay away because of the late snow. :o)

Mary said...

I'm starting on the JMT on August 1--the opposite direction. But I will be looking forward to your reports on Sections J & K because I'd love to do them next year. Good luck!!

Derrick said...

All the best Leslie. Enjoy it fully! Look forward to hearing the details at some point in the future.

slowrunner said...

keep on trudging, trudging trudging! you will have so much fun! just one more crazy leslie adventure. i love it!!
*big big hugs*

Jill Homer said...

Good ruck Resrie!

This really is a dream vacation. I'd love to join you for a segment in the Sierras if it can somehow work out. Stay in touch!

Linda W. said...

Best of luck! You're doing something I would love to do! If you need anything by the time you reach Cascade Locks, let me know. Email me and I'll give you my phone #.

Sara Montgomery said...

Sending you tons of good trail vibes, Leslie! Have fun and stay safe. And have MORE fun!!!

Ellie Greenwood said...

Safe travels and awesome adventures leslie, will be thinking of you and so looking forward to hearing your wonderful stories on your blog in many months time xx Enjoy!

Helen said...

Go! Leslie go! Just so excited for you and the adventures we are going to get to share!

Olga said...

I wish I still lived in PDX and could come to Cascade Locks! I did when Horton ran through...and it's still an awesome memory to get to surprise him and support him for some and share his tiredness and enthusiasm. Girl, glad your body cooperated and is giving you a go! Thrilled for your adventure!

Brian said...

Happy to hear it all came togther for ya! Good luck & be safe.

Gretchen said...

SUPER excited for you!! I'm sending you my phone # in case you lost it. Please don't forget to call when you are getting close. I would love to treat you to a shower/bed/dinner (and hopefully share a few trail miles if you happen to be through here during a weekend)!! Have fun! (I know you will!)

Anonymous said...

Glad you had time for a blog post before you left. Was hoping to hear how things were going. I hope your body stays as excited as your mind. Thinking safe thoughts for you.

JeffO said...

Serious trail-envy. Serious. I may need therapy to deal with it. Hoping the deets will remedy my symptoms.

Leslie said...

Hello friends! It warms my heart to know you are all still out there, despite my lack of blogging prowess the past few 6 months. I so appreciate your encouragement and good vibes as I head out on the Grand Leslie Adventure. I hope to send out some posts and photos here at Banfftrailtrash and on Facebook as well. Keep on checking in and I hope you can share in my adventure.

Happy Trails Friends!


Sandy McCallum said...

Have a wonderful adventure...stay safe...Sandy McCallum

Meghan said...


Anonymous said...

Yippee you are back and off on a great adventure that I am looking forward to reading about. I have been reading ur blog since i arrived in Calgary 3.5 years ago and now I am off to live down in the US swamp of Houston (so if u get lost to Mexico...)

Being an ex (but crap) trail runner I one day will return to running and most def the trails of Alberta. Broken body too but getting it better :-)

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