Shawnee

Tomorrow we leave for a 3 night, 4 day backpacking trip and I’m starting to get a liiiittle nervous. We’ve never done a trip this long yet (30miles) and some bad weather is expected. 

Part of the adventure, right? I’m super excited and also anxious to get out there. I know once we start all will be well. I always get so worked up with butterflies, “maybe we should stay home” thoughts and what ifs. 

Naturally, all this week has been cool, mild and sunny. This weekend is going to be stormy, muggy and hot. Eye roll.

I loathe the Midwest sometimes. 

All of our stuff is sprayed down with Permethrin. 

Our packs are ready to go (mine weighing in at 28.8 total and B’s 30.0 total.) 

Wish us luck! Training and a reality check for Shenandoah begins tomorrow!

We will be blogging, Instagramming, and YouTubing this adventure. See ya soon!

J

Oh my blog!

I haven’t forgotten you this month of May. I have been so busy. It’s 9:30am on a Saturday, I’m still in bed and this is the latest I’ve slept in weeks. 

A few things have happened since my last post. I have a new laptop which has been pretty handy. I have gone and returned from an incredible vacation that may have changed many things for me in terms of where I would like to live one day. I have had 2 root canal procedures. Ugh. Still lots of dental work to be done! B and I have been experimenting with video editing and working on vlogging; which will only happen once a month or so. 

It takes so long to record a bunch of footage, watch all of it through 20 times to decide to only use so much of it. It’s been fun though, and something different. Putting yourself out there outside of just words on a background is difficult to embrace. I don’t do well on camera but adjusting has been entertaining. Maybe one day it’ll feel comfortable!

On that note, I will leave a link to our YouTube channel. I am still figuring it out and so it still has a weird, long link address. 

Pottsiepackin YouTube Channel!
We have ONE subscriber, woohoo! Please follow and subscribe if you’d like, and check out our Yosemite and Beyond video diary from our epic roadtrip we took at the beginning of the month.

You’ll be hearing back from me with some photos and a brief breakdown of the trip soon as well.

Thanks for reading!

J

Things to come…

With declaring a large goal, the first thing you want to do is ensure you follow through. The second thing that happens (to me at least!) is pure, adrenaline pumping anxiety and manic thoughts; what do I need to do? How do I need to do it? How do I make sure it’s right? Can I do this? Can WE do this?

Of course those questions keep you (aka: me) awake, literally all night long. Since I’ve posted about our desire and our plan to hike the entire John Muir Trail in 2 summers from now, I have been wide awake until nearly 4am every morning obsessively researching, watching YouTube videos and interrogating Instagram/Facebook friends and strangers that have completed it in it’s whole or who have done sections. 

Thoughts I’ve established over the last week:

We have ultimately come to the realization we will have to start at Mount Whitney and head Northbound to Yosemite Valley. That’s great and all, but starting a month long, strenuous hike at the highest point in the lower 48 means acclimating to the elevation, knocking out the absolute most difficult sections in the first 4 days of our trip. Do I even have that in me? Climbing uphill with little oxygen when I can barely climb uphill with all the oxygen? Is this a joke?

I’ll tell you what the joke is. Obtaining a JMT permit from Yosemite. How is there not a better system!? I understand the desire and the growing fascination with backcountry hiking. I fell into it as well. I also understand protecting the integrity of the trail and not sending 70,000 people one way at a time. But my goodness. Planning for this trip is hard enough, but not being guaranteed a spot when you have to practically fight to take off work is horrifying. 

Then comes buying better gear. Do I have backpacking gear? Oh, please. I’m a hoarder about it. Do I have a baseweight of 12 pounds? LOLNO. So now comes the purchase of some better UL gear; a new tent we can easily carry for 25 days (I’m really leaning towards Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2), a new sleeping bag and probably pad for ME (suggestions please!) as B (the human space heater) should be fine with his heavier REI Trail Pod 29, and the investment in appropriate jackets. 

We also need 2 bear canisters, decent trekking poles and to begin a pretty lengthy strength and distance training regimen. (The upside is, now I can happily donate my used things to Gear Forward!) Gear is one thing, a months worth of food for 2 people is another. We will have to resupply at least twice, if not three times along the trail. I am choosing to send a few buckets out, not caring of the shipping cost (also a potential for it to get lost en route so I’ve read/watched…) and having them brought in to us on trail so we don’t have to leave and hitch into towns. 

We also need to save the money to get us out there and back, have enough socked away to ensure all of our bills are paid for the month we’ll be gone, set up care for our two dogs, and try not to kill each other as we take on what will most likely be the most challenging thing we’ve ever set ourselves up for.

Does all of this stress me out? IMMENSELY. Does it also fill me with extreme excitement and pride knowing that I WILL follow through with this, no matter how scary and daunting and awful the preparation will surely be? So much. This is the trip of a lifetime. It’s an opportunity anyone should take if they are able. I am petrified.

Brace yourselves over the next 2 years for me to be just as annoying as I usually am about these things, but with a dose of extra annoying because HOLY CRAP. JMT!

In the meantime, today I will be cleaning my house and packing as we leave for Yosemite and beyond on Wednesday! We will be trying something new and vlogging this trip, as well as making the usual post-trip entry here but that will likely be less detailed since we are going to share a LOT on YouTube. I can’t wait to get out to California and spend the next week on the road to Rainier! 

J

Vlogging

Something new we are going to try this year. The word “vlog” or “vlogging” is just so ridiculous sounding I can’t even take it seriously.

But! We’re going to give this a try. Nothing fancy. Smashing together photos and video clips of our outings, and then sometimes me or B talking about outdoorsy things. I made a YouTube channel I linked in my menu section. We’re gonna put something together in the next few weeks after our Cali-Oregon-Washington trip. 

A FB friend on my favorite Facebook group (Midwest Adventures – if you’re Midwest, come join us!!!) tossed the idea my way after I shared a 4 minute video I made last year and…why not? I’m terribly awkward in person and even more so on screen so, you’ll get to see all that play out. Fun for all. 

My number one main reason for doing it is to continue networking and keep growing my little web of other backpackers (new and seasoned and everything in between) and outdoor bloggers so we can help each other out. I have met some INCREDIBLE people the last year I have been doing this and I want to continue to grow in that way. Also, I have had a couple opportunities thrown my way for reviewing products WHICH IS AWESOME.

So yeah, I’ll be a spaz on a video to try stuff out and tell you about our trips and treks and our plans and share some of our weird, happy little boring life. 

What do you think about video blogging? 

J

What is it called…

When you can’t sit still.

When you need to be planning the next trek.

When you have your next adventure set in your heart but it’s still too far away?

I think B and I decided we are going to take 3 – 4 weeks off next summer and thru hike the JMT. 

I am over the moon excited, scared, happy, anxious. We just need to figure out some dates, but tentatively late July, early August 2018. Which means we have a lot to do between now and then. 


Omg.

Edit: We have decided to plan for 2019! Giving us more time to prep and train!

J