Getting through the winter months before a thru-hike is agonizing. I hate to say I’m just biding my time, but that’s it in it’s essence. Watching the days pass is easier if I keep really busy, which is a cinch this year as I have a full time desk job and have been freelancing 10-15 more hours a week. That leaves just enough time for yoga, walks, a bit of skiing/hiking/packrafting and, a bit of reading.
Reading has always been my coping mechanism of choice; diving into a good adventure story is like a salve for the ache. I picked up a few books recently at the local used book store that have helped.
The first book, Walking Home, hasn’t really taken my mind of the CDT so much, but fanned the fire of the next adventure.
Alaska weighs heavily on me. I’ve read so many books about Alaskan adventures, and Kristin Gates‘ last few adventures in particular shout possibility. Kirk and I are thinking an extended packraft/hike/ski trp in Alaska is on the docket soon, but until then I’ll dive into books like the one above.
Other treasures like the book True by Michael Melius is a real find. Small independent press books are some of my favorites, and this one in particular is fantastic.
These are some deep thoughts for my mind to chew on as the days continue to get shorter.
And then there are trail journals. Oh how I love trail journals. I often find an eloquent story-teller and read through their whole five months of daily journals in just a few days or weeks. I’ve been in the middle of Colter’s trip on the Desert Trail lately; his trip is particularly interesting as he’s the first person (i think?) to have hiked this 2,200ish mile route from Mexico to Canada. Just a stone’s throw from the PCT at times, I think people forget there are many other hikes out there to do, of your own devising, or re-erecting the paths of past travelers.
So I continue with my books and journals. Spring will come.