Just days away from starting the PCT fo real and we’re sat with the Hazletons, our first trail angels and harbourers of decade long friendships. Wanting to send us off with the right memories, we’re scoffing lasagne rolls and quaffing fine beers.
The build up to this has not been easy though, just days earlier, Elie and I were scrambling our California resupply boxes together. The usual hipster coolness of Elie and my standard obliviousness just weren’t on hand to offer support. We’d flipped those desserts on their heads and we’re feeling quite the reverse.
Henley developed the resupply strategy months ago, laying out a hybrid of priority mail boxes, sent in advance, and buying big in the towns we pass through.
Thanks to the big man, we had a framework to operate within and, as long as we knew what we wanted to eat for the next 3 months, it should have been plain sailing.
We wanted to maximise calories per gram, which means pop tarts, snickers and all other things you’d usually avoid, supplemented with dried fruits, nuts and king sized snickers. Retail therapy has been a theme throughout the prep and filling the trolley in Trader Joes, Safeway and Try’n’Save was no different.
The stressed desert kicked in when our cards crashed the checkout and we were unable to pay, the clerk (who later high fived Elie when we were back on track) cowered in the face of this problem and just shoved us to one side. With It’s Its melting fast, the panic kicked in and all the anxiety of the prep came crashing in on us. What if our food doesn’t reach us? What if we don’t find water? What if the colour hat I choose is not actually the best one?
We knew the answers to those questions (red is the best hat, just watch The Life Aquatic) and we’re able to deal with the challenges, but there’s something about fight or flight that can hide that for a moment. Completion of an everyday task can be monumental, even one as small as walking out of a store with your shopping. We chose to fight (as opposed to cheesing it out of the store, leaving the trolley to fend for itself) and grabbed cash and a place in the queue at customer services.
A deep breath and a high five later and we’re back on the road. Dropping Grace off at the station (she stayed calm throughout…whilst sat in Starbucks), we headed home to box the goodies up.
Sending our 6 California resupply boxes by priority mail, we can be fairly sure that something will be waiting for us at our selected drop points. We can’t be sure that it will be anything we actually want to eat though.
A big lesson from the trail already, desserts are way better than being stressed, that’s completely under our control. With the rapture coming on Sunday, let’s hope it’s a lesson learned.