My time of final preps in the SF Bay area is drawing to a close. It has been a nice visit with my sister, a great time with my God Parents, and a delightful meeting with new friends that I got to know at Trail Space.
This morning started out with a final trip to my favorite REI location in downtown San Francisco. It is where I first purchased my pack two years ago, after which I walked the couple of miles back to the hotel where I was attending a prosecutor’s conference on Evidence. Today I picked up another bladder for water and some other odds and ends. Then it was off to Radio Shack to get a power converter and some flash drives for photo storage.
Then I picked up a bowl of soup and sourdough for lunch because that was sooo good Saturday that I had to do it again! Finally, I headed off to Mad House Coffee to meet Bill Heiser and BillS from trail Space. I had such a great time with Bill H., Bill S., and his wife Barb. Though I always enjoy
them on the Trail Space Forums, they now have human bodies, voices and laughs! It was such fun. OGBO (BillS) said it all when he said that it is nice to get out from behind a computer screen to interact with each other.
So now it is time to lock up the duffel and the back pack and get ready for a 14 hour trip to Hong Kong where I will meet up with Leo Nichols, my cousin, and do a whirlwind tour.
I am trying to get real tired so I can sleep on the plane and be ready for all the fun Hong Kong can offer.
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!
T minus 8 mo. 3 days to lift off to Everest Trek. Seems like quite a ways off, but truth is, it is right around the corner. Between now and then, I need to:
- Complete my gear aquisition
- Get all shots and meds
- Save money to spend
- Increase aerobic sterength
- Increase leg strength
- Lose big chunk of weight
That is what comes to the top of my head at any rate. And time passes quite quickley when you need it to slow down. That is a proven fact. I have great plans of consistant CrossFit and hiking. But I need to make those plans a reality and not just good intentions or I will find myself at 10,000 feet ready to go and developing a splitting headache, unable to ascend and my dream gone lickity split.
Saturday I go to San Francisco for Scrableganzapalousa. I am pretty dang sure I will not be getting any more fit than I am right now at that event. Likely not going to eat well either. So, here is the plan. I cannot afford to have too many more bumps in the road. Especially bumps I can avoid. August starts when I get back. Next big family event is October when Dad turns 80. That gives me 2 months to string together some consitant, hard effort. So I am publishing that here to let ya’ll know, the heat is ON, baby!