One Week To Lift Off
It seems hard to believe after almost a full year of planning, gathering gear, training and putting plans into motion but one week from tonight I should be sitting in my first campsite after doing the first 4 of 265 miles of my Camino Cascade solo trek. Today I spent most of the morning and early afternoon organizing and weighing the remainder of what needs to go into my pack besides food. At one point, as I watched the weight add up on my spreadsheet that I was using to keep track of everything, I despaired of being able to keep it to the 40-45 lbs that was my goal. Amazingly enough in the end it looks like 43 lbs give or take a bit depending on how much water I carry. Wow maybe this will all work out okay. I want a few luxuries like camp shoes, sleeping clothes different than those I walk in all day and wild things like that. I think I have been really afraid that they won’t be possible. However most of them are in – yahoo!
I was tired after the stress of all of that and really did not want to go do my six mile training hike but off I went at 3 PM with my pack filled with these 42 lbs of real stuff that I will carry. The first 2-3 miles I was struggling along wondering if I would make 4 miles, much less 6 or more. Late in the day I am much more tired than morning and it was warm. I walked with a phrase from the poem below that a friend sent me in response to my request for poems for my birthday gifts at the 60th birthday/send off party next week. I will take the poems and meditate on them as I walk. I love this poem as it so expresses what I am aiming for with this 28 days of being out in the wild – to Rewild Myself. The last stanza – “Rewild Yourself, The Earth is her own medicine, Be yours.” really resonates with me. There is something about this whole endeavor from the very beginning that has felt like choosing or being my own medicine. To choose to stretch myself as I turn 60 to create new life and vitality, to continue to grow and change and reach for new possibilities. As the poem says “To rise up into my own magnificence and take my place among the constellations.” Isn’t that an amazing thought!
So as I continued to wander the trails with my pack, deciding that no matter what I felt like I would do at least 6 miles and feeling that sense of “rewilding”, I found my second wind and it became easy and wonderful to move along. In the end I did 6.75 miles and even chose to go back through “Roller Coaster” twice (a trail that matches the name, very up and down and up and down).
Great training for the many thousands of feet of elevation gain and loss that I will do over these 265 miles through the Cascades. I do believe I am as ready as I need to be and it feels great.
I will write a few more entries hopefully before I leave and then send some as I travel when I get to my resupply spots. If you are interested stayed tuned. You can follow me on a map also at https://share.delorme.com/KathrynHarja. The links will show up on Facebook also as I do a map share. The maps I hope will be more accurate than my training loops have shown I think because I travel over the same ground more than once.
Enjoy the poem below and consider ways that you can Rewild yourself. Kathryn
Rewild Yourself: Be Your Own Medicine
There are places in you
Where thousands of bright, tiny flowers
Open each morning to the sun
In meadows as vast as the sky.
An ancient alchemy courses through your bones.
It speaks in feathers and stones and
Precious metals and the footprints of mandalas
Left by the stories we tell with our lives.
Until green tendrils sprout from your fingernails
And lichen swathes your eyebrows.
Until your roots spread and uncoil and
Writhe down through soil and rock.
Rise up into your magnificence and
Take your place among the constellations.
The Earth is her own medicine.
Caroline Mellor – Sent to me by QuinSerra Stanley