I’ve been wondering if my blog posts are getting to be too much the same — so many of them seem to be about things I might do, would like to do, possibly could do — but a blog friend commented that she loved my adventure planning, so if you have been hoping that I would a) stop blogging until I have something to say; b) stop talking about things that have as much chance of happening as snow on Mars; or c) do something worth writing about, you’re out of luck. I’m going to continue doing what I’ve been continuing to do.
Mostly what I’ve been doing, more than actually planning or preparing or researching, is continuing to contemplate logistics of long distance backpacking. For example, there are places on most long trails — not just the epic trails like the Pacific Coast Trail, the Appalachian Trail, or the Continental Divide Trail, but the shorter long distance trails like the Colorado Trail or the Enchantment Trail — where water is lacking for forty miles or so. Not an insurmountable problem for fast hikers who can cross such barren stretches in two or three days, but for a slow mover like me, it could take eight days, which means I’d have to carry thirty-two pounds of water. Yikes. I can’t carry thirty-two pounds of anything, especially not when added to the other twenty pounds of hiking gear!
Some people solve the problem of dry stretches by stashing bottles of water on the trail, but the way I figure it, if I am going to be hiking far enough into the trail to hide all that water in a waterless section, I’d probably need the water to get there and back without dying of dehydration.
So, forget the long trails. What about doing three or four day hikes on the PCT, for example? Most ingresses to the trail are from roads where the only parking is on the shoulder. Oh, yeah, I want to leave my car on the side of the road for all that time! Often when I’ve done day hikes, I’ve seen vehicles that have been vandalized, and that seems too much of a price to pay for a few days of solitude. I could, of course, leave the car parked where it is now, but then the problem comes in the form of transportation. How do I get to the trail? How do I get back?
So I continue to do what I’ve been continuing to do all along: plan adventures, research, and contemplate hiking the long — and short — trails while I slog through the desert carrying a backpack three days a week.
Luckily, there is dance class today to give me a rest from all this continuing.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Unfinished, Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.