Thirty-five hours from now I leave Arcata for four months. It's odd knowing that one's life is going to radically, profoundly change in almost every way. Most of the daily challenges, anxieties and pleasures in Arcata will be replaced by all new ones, many of which I've never experienced, in places I've never been.
I guess every adventure includes problem solving and resilience, and all the issues I can anticipate are fully navigable. Seriously, this is not going too be easy, but neither is it a Lewis & Clark expedition. I have the near-best equipment available, know how to use it, well know the route and all the waypoints, including many fine restaurants. It's what I don't know that will provide the excitement.
But the way I figure it, I consume and process so much media every day on appliances that I won't have with me on the trail, that I'll have to amuse myself playing wth the phone, blogging and compiling all the raw video I'll be taking into various productions. I have a long list of episode ideas I could make for my YouTube channel, requiring hours of processing. Or I may be too knackered to lift a finger once I lay down, at least at first.
I don't have any illusions that I will produce any original or even interesting media on the PCT, as there are so many captivating bloggers and YouTubers already – in fact, they were my inspiration. (Them, Dirk Rabdau, Suzanne Bones Stafford, Rees Hughes and Trevor Homework McKee, that is.)
However, several dozen people at this point have either sent in or personally handed me donations while saying, "I'm going to follow your progress," or, "I've always wanted to do this and am going to enjoy this vicariously through you," that I consider the documentation of my journey for my friends fairly mandatory.
Some of the PCT aspirants complain that their friends and associates tell them they're crazy, or disparage their dream. I've had the opposite – massive backing and encouragement. And astounding strokes of OK, not luck because after all I'm such a mighty skeptic. But good fortune, made possible by good people whose indulgence I must repay with my eccentric drivel that they unaccountably express interest in.
OK, gotta carefully pack my backpack for the last time in Arcata. Tomorrow is going to be insane, then Wednesday a.m. it's bye bye Arcata for a third of a year – the longest I've ever been away.