Every Monday and Wednesday, TiAna and I get together for a lunch bitch session. We talk about our classes, our significant others, our families, our lives in general. Lately, though, all we have talked about is “the trail.”
Today, for example, we compared gear lists and talked about weights and materials and the specs for a wide variety of gear.
TiAna is becoming an “ounce weenie” while I seem to be focused on comfort. (Ounce weenie means being hung up on finding the lightest gear possible.) I think both approaches are valid. I don’t mind a little extra weight to be sure that I’m comfortable in my tent, or that I can spread out on my bed. She wants her pack to be as light as possible so that she isn’t straining to carry it. Both ideas work.
We also talked a lot about people’s reactions to our hike.
Her husband thinks it’s a great idea. Her mother in law, not so much. My boyfriend thinks it’s a horrible idea, and my mother agrees (for totally different reasons.) My physical therapist and my boss, on the other hand, think the hike is a fabulous idea and can’t wait to hear about it.
When you tell someone you are going to hike 2200 miles, there are a few reactions you can count on.
“You are going to do what?”
“You? (looks at your body) nyah!”
and my personal favorite, “why?”
Honestly, that’s the one that is the hardest to answer beause the answer is so visceral. “To find myself” sounds trite, although it’s true. “Because it’s there” sounds flippant, although it is also true. “Because I need to” seems to aggravate people the most because it’s incredibly hard to explain a need that is so deep-seated you don’t have words for it. How do you explain that from the first time you heard of the trail you KNEW you were meant to be on it?
Mostly I’ve learned to give them enignmatic smiles and say “’cause I can.”