I’ve got this thing that I’ve been keeping secret, playing pretty close to the vest, really. Partly because it’s one of those things that’s special and it’s fun to take it out and marvel at how shiny and pretty it is — without having to worry about actually doing too much about it.
But, I think it might be time to share. Some of my peeps already know — I rolled it out to a few to gauge reaction, get some love before sending it out to the world (or, you know, the dozen people who read this blog).
I’ve got a dream. Well, actually, more of a goal — a plan, even. Next year — summer 2018 — I’m going to thru-hike the Wonderland Trail. It’s a 93 mile trail in Washington state that circumnavigates Mount Ranier
I can almost see your confused, cocked-to-the-side heads with an “…and?” thought bubble over you.
For me, this is a huge thing. HUGE. Bigly, even. I’ve been on one backcountry backpacking trip and it was guided, so I didn’t have to worry about things like what gear to take or any of the logistics. I just showed up with some clothes, hiking boots and followed along.
This trip, on the other hand, is all me. All the logistics. All the gear. All the planning. If there’s no food on day 3, guess who’s to blame?
I’m hoping to have company on the trip, but this was my idea and so it’s my baby to birth. I have this sense of responsibility to make it awesome, for myself and anyone else who’s brave enough to join me on this adventure.
And I’ve been afraid to talk about it, to be honest. Am I training? Yes. Kind of, at least. Am I making plans? Sure. But I’m afraid. What if I can’t do it? What if I’m too old or too out of shape or too something else that I’m not imaginative enough to think of right now? What if I put this out in the universe and the universe laughs back?
However, last time I checked, I’m not getting any younger. And it’s not like I can put this off thinking that there’s some magical future time when getting in shape is easy. Like a wise meme on Facebook stated: “One day or day one. You choose.”
I’ll be slow, sure. And will my hips and back like sleeping on the ground any more than they did a few years ago when I did it last? Probably not. Thing is, I don’t have to do it like everyone else. I can take my time, drink in the scenery, take lots of picture breaks. And why not, right? It’s not like there won’t be anything to look at while I stop on the trail to catch my breath.
I want this pretty badly. I couldn’t have come up with a more perfect trail to tackle — logistics are a breeze compared to something like the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail — and it feels so doable. One of those challenges that I look at and while understanding that there’s a lot of hard work between me and the finish, knowing with a certainty that surprises me that I can do it. I know I can.
So — Day One. Wonderland, here I come.