By Brandon Thrash
I was a Boy Scout. An Eagle Scout, actually. As an Eagle Scout I memorized, know, and believe in a number of guiding tenants and mottos that help me in my journey through life. One such motto is "Be Prepared." That being said...I'm not. Scoutmaster Kerst would be ashamed of me, indeed. I haven't read enough books, hiked enough hills, ate enough dehydrated food, or dug enough holes in the ground to relieve myself in to consider myself "prepared" for this trip in the least.
That's a long winded way of saying that I'm ready. It struck me today how ready you can be for something you are ill-prepared for. I say that I am ready because if I were to get on the trail today, I'd be mentally prepared to walk up and down hills in the middle of the woods for 6 months straight. I am ready because I've got a wonderful hiking partner that's done more than his part to be "prepared" for the trials of the trail. I am ready because I know that this is the right thing for me to do right now. I feel it in my heart and in my bones.
Over the next month I will be working hard to prepare. I'll be packing and repacking my bag, trying my best to shave ounces. I'll be handmaking a stove and pot coozie (whatever that is, you'll have to ask Justin). I'll be pouring over maps to figure out if and when I need to have food drops sent to me on the trail. All to be prepared.
More importantly though, I'll be working hard to ready my soul. I'll be saying goodbye to a city I love. I'll be saying farewell to friends and co-workers that I have loved and mean more to me than they could ever hope or imagine. I'll be welcoming a newborn niece into the world. I'll be hugging and spending time with friends and family that I haven't seen in a very long time. I'll be readying my soul by filling it with all the love and joy that a man can save up before heading out with one of my best friends on a 2,000 mile walk through the woods.