Just had a very emotional goodbye (but see you soon!) with my nearest and dearest, as I set off to the USA from London for the next five months or so. Can safely say that, if it weren’t for my family, friends and girlfriend, I wouldn’t be here now. It’s been so hard saying goodbye to everyone!
Now all I can do is sit back in seat 16C of this Norwegian Airlines flight and watch Austin Powers: Goldmember. What a classic!
Over the next couple of days I’ll be focusing on getting the last few little bits that I need with me on trail. Hygiene and food being the top priorities. Although, I haven’t got a sleeping bag liner yet, which will add that little extra warmth to my Phantom Spark -2°C (-6°C is recommended) and also means I will only need to wash that instead of my sleeping bag.
As I’m now without my trusted Macbook and other such items, blogging becomes a little more difficult, but there should be plenty of opportunities along the way. I’ll have more frequent updates now that it’s finally come to the crunch time. I’ll also begin vlogging when on trail to give you a better idea of the kind of personalities you’re likely to encounter.
After flying into LA I met up with my first Trail Angels (whether they know it or not!), Nick and Louise. They kindly let me send a few bits to theirs before flying over and then hosted me for the night, before my Greyhound bus to San Diego the next morning.
Started with a silly early bus from North Hollywood to San Diego. It wasn’t quite as picturesque as I’d hoped for. The Amtrak train might have been a better bet with the coastal views.
Made it to Barney ‘Scout’ Mann and Sandy ‘Frodo’ Mann’s home in San Diego. They host thru-hikers for a night or two in the build up to starting the trail, among a million other amazing things (Check out http://www.sandiegopct.com).
I got stuck in and even helped prepare lunch. Earned myself a hat!
Other than that I also had a gear ‘shakedown’ in front of about ten others, thanks to a chap I only know as ‘Pepa’, who is one of the helpers at the house and is also hiking the Continental Divide Trail this year. It felt like being on stage and stripping down fully (really impressive, but you were in fact just bearing all to random people). It shed some weight, so it’s all good! For those who don’t know, a ‘gear shakedown’ is when an experienced hiker takes a look at each bit of your kit and recommends where you can cut weight. So I’m now pillowless and sending my bear canister up to Kennedy Meadows, among other bits.
Will have more updates as I go on! Tomorrow’s my last day’s prep before the trail begins on Sunday. Exciting times.
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