I am finishing packing and about to load Ace the Honda Pilot. I will head on over to Maggie’s at noon. From there, Jim will ferry us over to McCarran International Airport and send us off to Miami. We hit Miami, then Lima, Peru then Cuzco Peru and all the fun we have worked for will begin!!! I have had a few sleepless nights and frenetic moments this past week. Shirts coming in late, getting last minute details tied up and the dogs in order so they will be ready for the house sitter. I am really struggling with the weight limits for the porters and hope I got the gear trimmed down well. Today I checked the weather and it looks like the ten day forecast in Peru calls for rain. Every day that we are there. Rain gear packed and ready.
Things began to jell on Wednesday when we did shirt sorting and delivery. I was none too happy with TEESPRING as they messed up my order. Some shirts were missing and some were damaged. That can happen. The real disappointment was that they could not get anything fixed for two to three weeks. They did refund the money and wills still provide the replacement shirts. Just that some people won’t have them for the TOAST TWO AT DEAD WOMAN’S PASS and GET WRECKED AT THE RUINS events.
It was fun doing the t-shirt events. One at Barking Dogs, one at Starbucks and one at Sambalatte. Fun to see people I haven’t seen face to face in some time and was great how enthusiastic they are about the trek. The Beesaws are planning a PCT through hike. Sarah Knipple is planning at least a section of the PCT. Dick and Natalie Dower are leaving a couple weeks after me to do their 10th year of 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell. A climbing competition that is grueling, fun for them and the do fabulous things at it. The weather forecast calls for rain throughout. At least some each day. But we have all the proper gear and the adventure is what ever gets thrown at us.
Maggie and I went to Creative Salon and got pedi’s. I had my nails done and a haircut. Gotta get it all whacked off when I know that I cannot wash it for a number of days.
Not much more for me to add right now. I am a bit anxious and also excited. I know things will be fun and experiences will be unique. I cannot wait to share pictures and stories with you all. Thanks so much for all the support and enthusiasm we have received from our friends and family. HERE WE GO!
Today is the day. Have been working, waiting, fretting for it. When I set out for this adventure, I am not sure even I believed I would follow through with going. But here it is, March 24, 2012 and I HAVE set out on the biggest adventure of my life.
Along the way, I have learned a lot about myself. That the Karen I always was was inside waiting to get out. I learned that the biggest obstacle to success in anything I set out for is not the physical environment around me. Though many of those things are huge challenges, the actual obstacle is myself and the mental battle I fight with myself.
So here I am at the beginning. I was all packed up and ready to roll and Jim and Maggie arrived to transport me to McCarren Airport in Las Vegas. They came in and met my digs and we chatted and all of a sudden I was out the door. The dogs were behind the door while we were headed off to the car and I would not be seeing them for 22 days. Just that fast, I was leaving.
I got a comment on a post a while back from a person who is also doing this trek. We have been communicating about it ever since. He has a reason for going. Seems that is common…..exorcising some demon or another by putting ones self through some physical challenge far off from home. He phoned last night to give me a pep talk and encourage me. He is a few weeks after me. I’ll have been home a few days when he starts. It is somehow comforting knowing that somebody I have spoken with will be putting his feet where mine once were in a land far away and as high as you can get into the heavens. It also motivates me to work hard against the voices that chirp and bleat about when the going gets tough. He wants me to finish it for him. So that he can know that he can finish it too. I think he already knows he can.
So we sped down the 215 to McCarren, chit chatting with each other along the way. Jim and Maggie are stand up folks who I have come to know most recently and feel like I have known forever. Maggie came climbing in the gym with me Wednesday and she has now caught the bug. Guaranteeing more fun together. Jim works with me at Red Rock Search and Rescue. They are sporting their own WhelanTrek shirts and toting my baggage! What great friends they are to come clear across the valley and pick me up and cart me off on my journey!
In a flash, they, too were gone. So off I went, checked in and paid the extra $60.00 for my duffel and back pack, got my boarding pass and headed in to the gate. But first I tested out the Spot Connect and checked in from McCarren. I wanted to be sure to get used to using it and understanding it. I also wanted to be sure I get the trip from door jam to door jam. I was excited when I was sitting in the plain and got a text from another friend, Kristen, who had gotten the email Spot Connect sent out to her. So. It is working!
Airport security wasn’t too bad. Boarding went well too. And to my delight, nobody was sitting next to me. It is always a nice flight in coach when you have a seat between you the next person.
I was thinking as we flew along and I could see the Sierra Nevada Mountains out my window that those will see so very small in a few days when I see the big peaks of the Himalayas. And how this short flight to Frisco will seem like bliss compared to what flights lie ahead.
Just as I completed that thought, the flight attendant came over the loud speaker to say that we were about to descend to San Francisco International Airport. She wanted us to know, too, that she was about to take one last run down the isle of the plane to take all of our plastic cups from us for fear that they could be projectiles should the landing be a bit too assertive. At least that was what I heard her say. So here she came and I launched my cup her way as she blew past my seat
28A. Just like that I was at another airport. Only difference was, now there was all this rain coming down.
It was nice to get out of the plane and enter the airport and smell the wonderful bread! Moisture in the air always makes food smell so good! I headed out to the curb after collecting my bags and headed out shopping for some final things with my sister. Then back to her house for a piping hot bowl of Clam Chowder with fresh sourdough to dip! What a wonderful dinner on a cold San Francisco day.
Now my sister and I are done for the evening and we are drinking tea and petting her schipps. Makes me miss Cappy Jack and Katie Scarlet already!
So I’ll sign off now, from this my first dispatch of the journey. I will finish by thanking Jim and Maggie for their gracious assistance, and for the Trekkies for supporting me on this excellent adventure!