I leave my loves at home and go West for a bit. 

Famous Last Words.
“See you in a couple months”  When I last saw Luke and the boys about 5.5 months ago, I had intended to fly to Vancouver in May to see them off as they started their journey. Yes, renewed my passport and was planning my flight.  Stuff happens! (My beloved Papa K. was hospitalized and sent to a rehab facility).  The best plans can change due to unforeseen circumstances.  FYI, Papa K. is home and wreaking havoc in town.  Good for him, but poor Mom. 

Luke and I discussed the walk in depth and agreed, that if I trained, both physically and mentally, I could do this.  Heck yes, I CAN do this.
I have a full one page list titled “California Trip Prep”.  The categories on my list include:  “Luke’s suggestions”, my camping/hiking gear, camping items (yes, they are different from the gear portion of list!), “MY list”, Personal Care and Food/Bev. 
The highlights of this list seem to be in the “Personal Care” section of list and some make me chuckle…..Toilet Paper, Cleansing Wipes(yes, both ends!) and “Sponge or wash cloth”.  Benadrylnever leave home without it, and my Albuterol Asthma spray is another must have at all times.   
Shoes:  Critical as Luke’s stated.  My new Merrell hikers fit and feel as if I’ve had them for years.  I’ve probably put about 25 miles on them since last weekends purchase.  It may not seem like a lot, but considering I worked about 55 hours last week, it’s a good amount!  Yes, I looked like a dork at the gym with tall hikers on the treadmill and elliptical.  Toe cramps suck, and I’m not sure why the cute Vasques caused them.  Luckily, no cramps in the Merrell.  
I do have my list covered, except the rain poncho.  Need to pick that up this week.  Packweight is a concern and yes, I’m an over packer.  We’ll figure out what I need to leave in basecamp SUV when I get there.  As of course I need my flat iron, hairdryer, hair products and some other critical girly things for when I meet my friend Janet in Napa at the end of my trip for a couple days of r&r.   
Food/water:  It’s going to be about zone bars and nuts for me.  And yes, I really am taking the jar of Nutella Luke!  It’s already in the pack and accounted for in pack weight. :
Next post will be about the emotional highs and lows of prep and training.  One low happened yesterday at work, when it hit me hard that I will be away from my furkids (aka my loves) for 12 days…..12 days!
Tears flowed and flowed. 

Last minute questions/concerns-how do I cope w/missing the furkids for 12 days????  The lack of showering, girly things and etc seem so trivial compared to lack of snuggle, snuggle with my kids….

Till we meet again.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

One Week Til V Day

A week from today our good friend Valerie from CT is flying to CA to join us on the road for a week.  In her words she wants to experience what our life is like out here and not just walking a mile or a day.  Yep pack, tent, she’ll be carrying her on weight.  I’ve invited her to guest blog here so we can discuss last minute preparations and she can share her side of the adventure.
V – 
I shed my base layers, tops and bottoms in Brookings & I’ve regretted it since.  Temps in Northern California, or at least this stretch of it ave low 60s in the day and 50s at night.  Sweltering heat from the rogue valley pulls high afternoon winds and fog banks and unless I’m in my tent snuggled up with the boys I’m chilled by the damp air.  
But as I’ve found along the coastline from Newport OR to here there are different microclimates distinct to each of the areas.
The redwood forests are right around the bend and I can’t speak to the climate there yet.  My suggestion is pack lightweight base layers – silk, which I prefer, or wicking synthetic.  Fleece just adds more pack weight & don’t think you’ll need the heavier fabric.
Shoes – hope you have that worked out by now. Don’t know why the vasques cause toe cramping – I love mine – but each foot has different demands.  But that has to be resolved ASAP.  Like fletcher wrote – footwear is the foundation – get that wrong and you won’t make it a week.
Don’t worry about packing first aid sundries – I keep sufficient supply.  Also I pack a multi tool, extra carabiners, zip ties etc.  
I’m worldly enough to know NOT to tell a woman what grooming/cosmetics to pack but since you’ll be carrying your own food and water the pounds add up.  I have nail clippers (since I have to keep toes ultra short) razor & cream (travel size) and axe spray for when I’m in public and haven’t had a chance to shower or do laundry.
You’ll probably want to bring soap since most campgrounds have showers but I wouldn’t expect that luxury more than once during the week.  
Other essentials in your pack – a cpl of ziplock bags to keep your electronics dry, poncho (even though I’ve only used mine twice in the 3 months on the road), a chamois or microfiber towel, sunblock (I don’t carry any), a pkg of wipes or rinse free hand soap, bug spray (though I haven’t had much of a problem thus far and I recommend skin so soft rather than a deet based product).  
Pillow – if your body contour requires it but I don’t afford the space for one and instead use my clothes sack plus my pack for a head rest but it’s not terribly comfortable but comfort is a notion you’ll have to divorce yourself of quickly.  
Once you arrive next Saturday and pick us up from the road we’ll have the balance of the day to do a gear check and purchase any last minute provisions.  But these are mostly small coastal communities out here – no walmarts, best buys or REIs.
Hope your training is going well but don’t push yourself after Thursday. Stick to stretching exercises.  As cell service is questionable up in the forests, post your questions or last minute concerns here…

Over the course of the next three weeks I’ll be road testing some new technologies to incorporate and use to maximize interactivity with Walk 2: The West Coast.

This is our walk, all of our walk, and we’ll broadcast it to as many and as loudly we can…