Am I Kidding Myself?

backpacking The challenge: my backpacking partner gave me two years to recover before he dangled a backpacking trip in front of me.  He was home from climbing mountains around Everest and Annapurna in Nepal.

His approach: “Friends of mine are coming from Tennessee wanting to do a one week hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Since you always did the planning of our trips down there, I’m seeking your advice as to the most appropriate hike for that length of time.”

To which I replied, “I want to go with you this summer!  But I’m not even close to in shape.”

He countered, “If you are interested in joining us….  Take a walk, see how it feels, and let me know.”  And here is where the Vibram soles meet the stony, steep trail.

Do I cast all cares aside as I would have done before and jump into training?  Or do I turn tail and trim my bonsai collection?

I have to be able to hike and carry forty (plus) pounds about seven miles a day for five or six days at an elevation over 9,000, including a pass at 11,066 feet.  I have to be able to sleep in a sleeping bag on the ground regardless of what’s on the ground: muck, snow, sand, dirt, or grass.  (This didn’t used to be a problem, but remember the hip replacement.  I don’t get comfortable as easily as I used to.  And I can’t sit on cold rock and expect to get up and walk away easily. )  So far these are the only problems I see, but I’m sure others will show up once I start training.

In the past I trained by walking 4 miles a day, working up to heavier weight each day of spring.  But I was in dynamite shape because I’d been doing the same training schedule every year for about thirty years.  I’m starting from scratch now and I’m overweight from a couple of years doing nothing too strenuous except walking a couple of miles with my dog.  Body parts that were toned now sag and I’m not sure I can lift a forty pound pack, let alone throw it up on my back.

Right now wearing purple sounds so easy.  In the meantime I walked three miles yesterday carrying twenty-one pounds.  Am I kidding myself?   I’ll keep you appraised.

May 2010 Ed 1

May 2010 Ed 2

May 2010 Ed 3

3 responses to “Am I Kidding Myself?

  1. i hope you get out and do it. you know by now how to trim everything you don’t need from your pack. what do you have to lose. or, find some sherpas to help with the loads.

  2. I used to think I should use difficult students, but I’m out of them. Trim is the plan, Les. John and I carried so much – shucks, could have probably killed and dressed an elephant with what we had in our packs. Those days are gone. Smart hiking now! So far, so good!

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