The big leaf maple blossoms popped in the last few days, great canopies of chartreuse. And it is feeling a lot like spring here, sunny one minute and then raining the next, blustery wind taking all the warmth out of the sunshine.
The news from the homefront is all about trip prep and it’s all mundane as can be. Getting ready for a big trip is a project all in itself, with the level of tedium an inverse function of the excitement rating of a trip. For at least the last half a year, I’ve had timelines and spreadsheets and to-do lists whose only objective was getting us out the door.
Last week was all about one big project – resupply boxes. We spent the last 3 months making food plans and stockpiling ingredients and dehydrating and generally amassing everything. And then spent last week turning that stash into actual meals and portions that fit into neatly packed boxes to meet us at a couple dozen post offices along the trail. It’s the kind of sprawling logistical project that I excel at, but keeping track of details and anticipating each next step took my full attention until the end. And then our very good friends whisked it all away on Saturday and our house felt strangely empty (unless you count the mountain of recycling because, holy packaging, batman) and I was a little disoriented.
Suddenly, “trip prep” has been reduced to a very long list of loose ends to tie up. There’s a sense of neurosis to this week, bouncing from “pay property taxes!” to “set up tent!” to “make notes for housesitter!”
Mostly the actual trip still feels abstract, but I felt a glimpse of it today. I spent the morning at the laundromat giving my sleeping bag a fresh wash and fluff, and found myself casting onto my sock needles with my first skein of trail yarn. And sitting in the purple plastic chair amongst the smell of detergent and the bustle of folks busier than me, I felt a glimmer of trail life, of how I’d be knitting these socks on the flight to Georgia and then who knows how many miles of northbound walking, and how many more laundromats along the way.