Down to one week before setting off on an adventure I've been planning for 4 months, an adventure that will last 6 months, but most importantly, an adventure that I will never forget. One week. Just one week until I see this plaque...
on this mountaintop...
Just seven days until I'm homeless. Just three days until I'm jobless. And I couldn't be happier.
I feel prepared and ready to go. At least as much as you can be prepared for something like this. I've definitely been way less prepared for a major endevour before and somehow survived, some might even say thrived, not many but some. So that makes me feel optimistic.
I've prepared in all kinds of ways. A couple nights ago I slept in my tent in below freezing weather where I learned that on a cold night, all I have to do is drink many beers, stay up until 4am, walk out to the backyard, climb into my tent and sleeping bag, and I will sleep like there's no tomorrow and won't notice the cold at all. A couple of weeks ago I got my wisdom teeth pulled in order to shave an ounce or two off my weight and avoid a Tom Hanks in Castaway scenario. A few months ago I learned how to avoid altitude sickness when way up in the Andes by chewing coca leaves. A few years ago I practiced rationing water over a few days when you mistakenly mix up camp sites with available water sources in a very dry and hot Australian summer.
Ok, so maybe none of these are really going to translate too well out on the AT, but you never know what skills might come in handy when you least expected.
You can't plan for everything, and if you could, wouldn't that make it so much less exciting? The thrill of conquering something that you had no idea was even going to be an obstacle or how to get past it is such a "Hell yea! I'm awesome!" feeling. The only way to get there though, is to put yourself in that uncomfortable position. It's totally worth it.