Here we go…

13 Oct

Well, it will be interesting I can guarantee you that. Since finishing the AT in June our lives have been a roller coaster. While I cannot exclude Jen, AKA Carrot, from this statement my life in particular has taken some very sharp turns. So before blogging about the preparations for the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT), I will recount the some of my experiences as of late. So if you will allow, I will elaborate. If you don’t care and simply want to read about the trail prep just scroll down and I will highlight it for you.

My life: Finished the AT in June. It was amazing! All of our families were there including part of our trail family. Could not have asked for a better finish, really. It was an amazing day.  After this I flew back to AZ only to make a quick turn around to head to DC for a Travel nursing assignment. Gil went with me, for he was part of the reason I picked DC. There is apparently world class BJJ here and he was excited to train. Luckily for me, AKA Lucky, I love my job here. I am new to the PACU setting but my coworkers and colleagues are top notch. It is a great blend of critical care nursing with the turn over of an ER. The unit is fantastic and has a manager that is one of the best I have ever worked for. This is important because in late August I found out that my partner and best friend of 15 years, husband of nine, had been cheating on me. Multiple times with multiple women. The details are grotesque and the reality horrific. I am betrayed and broken. If you do not know me you can ask any of my closest friends and they will tell you that I feel honesty is the most important quality in a person. So here it is; new job, PCT on the horizon, life plan in place with my partner, and in a matter of 24 hours it is all destroyed. The one person with whom I had trusted my life and my love took all from me that I knew to be true.  The next week was a blur. My parents were here and brother stayed the night with me to keep me off the ledge. Carrot arrived the next day from California. She got me through the hardest part. Jen kept me sane, let me cry and scream, and helped me to find a divorce lawyer that will see me through to the end of this terrifying process. She made it ok to go from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other. She laid out a plan for me that put me into survival mode. Carrot even got optimistic and made a list of things for me to look forward to. I am not there yet, but I keep the list close at hand for when I need a reminder to keep keeping on. Work is important. My job gives me a reason to wake up on most days and get going. I am so thankful that I currently love my job for it has helped me in this time of unrest. I could not have asked for a better group of nurses to be around. No platitudes are given to me in response to my situation. Just a simple “that sucks, if there is anything I can do…”. This is important. For some moments in time I am sick of being a strong independent woman. Sometimes you just simply want to be quiet and let the pathetic wash over you. You do not want to hear “everything happens for a reason” or “God has a plan”. Because currently my response to that includes nothing but four letter words. I know people mean well, but my co-workers have really surprised me. There has been none of that. Just support and offers of copious alcohol. They do not look at me as if I am a wounded puppy, they look at me as if I am a Nurse, there to do my job. For now, that is my survival. I go to work. I come home. I have fallen into some old bad habits such as too much wine and cigarettes, but I know they are not to be permanent. Simple vices to get through to whatever will be the next stage of my life.

So now I ask you: What would you do if you were newly single, almost 40, and lacking of social skills outside of work? My answer… retreat to the wilderness. While Carrot was here plans were set into motion for the TRT. We will do another middle distance hike (maybe the AZ trail, maybe the Ozark trail) prior to hiking the PCT but for now the TRT. I fly on Saturday and we drive on Sunday after last minute preparations to Tahoe. We will spend 24 hrs at altitude before setting off so this sea level human gan get used to thin air. It will be an air sucking hike for me for I have indulged too much in the great crop of our nation as of late. But alas, I will do it. Carrot yelling and cheering at me in the same breath. Fun will be had by all. Also, we will be joined by our four legged thru-hiking companion Georgy. Let’s hope there are no porcupines to be hunted on this trail!

Tahoe Rim Trail Prep:

New Packs! We have both decided to go with ULA circuit pack for the PCT. This will be our trial run for the pack. After extensive research and talking with the owner of the company we feel that this is a good fit for our bodies and the minimum/maximum weight we wish to carry.

http://www.ula-equipment.com/product_p/circuit.html

I will set out with the GoLite 3 season quilt no longer being made as well as a sea to summit liner. Reviews to follow. It is going to be cold for us and we are setting off into new territory. Carrot will be carrying the new Zpack sleeping bag. So light! I am sure I will jealous.

http://www.zpacks.com/quilts.shtml

As for footwear I will be carrying or wearing the Innov8 trail roc 236, OR the Vivo barefoot SynthHikers. I believe Carrot is sticking with the Brooks Cascadia for they simply fit her foot the best and are tried and true.

http://www.vivobarefoot.com/us/ladies/synth-hiker.html

http://www.inov-8.com/New/Global/Product-View-Trailroc-236-Black-Blue-Pink.html?L=26

http://www.brooksrunning.com/Cascadia-8/1201271B300%2e050,default,pd.html?start=4&cgid=womens-runningshoes-trail

(It is important to note that while we hike extremely well together Carrot and I have very different builds and foot structure. Most apparel we agree on, but footwear is where we have to be different. Our feet and our bodies are simply not the same.)

We will carry Aggie. Our Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 tent that we did the entire AT with. This is not the tent we will use for the PCT but it is the one we own. I am currently seam sealing Aggie as I type. Lets hope she holds up!

https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Tent/FlyCreekUL2

As for food: We plan on shaking things up a bit. At night we are going to try pre-made dehydrated meals split and wrapped in tortillas. We feel we need to get a feel for them and that they will be a good fit for the PCT. Lunches will be the same old Tuna and Nutella on a tortilla, and our breakfasts shall be our cold coffee/protein shakes.

Attire: Well, this one is still in the air. We have both bought new puffy beanies for night and plan on carrying a puffy jacket of sorts. I know I will have shorts and Capilene circa 1998, while Carrot has purchased some awesome new Ice Breakers long underwear. I do have a wool pair from EMS purchased last spring and we are simply waiting on a weather report to make a final decision. We will wear our Darn Tough socks, and some Lulu Lemon seamless long sleeve shirts. I will also carry a flannel bought this year from Patagonia. Please look to actual trail posts to see what we set out with. All of this is very subject to change.

Water Filtration: We are going with Sawyer. It was something we were in awe over during our last stretch of the AT.  We love the squeeze filter. We are going to give it a shot!

http://www.sawyer.com/water.html

As always we will have sleep masks, melatonin, and ear plugs.  A must for any RN and especially anyone on the trail!

 

OK. So a lot of info in one post. We will see if we can add on to this as we post of our hike. Please stay tuned for pictures and details. We will try to post day by day alternating voices so as you don’t get sick of any one of the two of us.

Happy trails dear friends. Wish us luck!

 

 

5 Responses to “Here we go…”

  1. Lance Pearson October 13, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    Em, Your situation has recently been difficult. No advice from me but I can tell you I share your feelings of loss if that helps any losing Karen. Keep putting one foot in front of the other has been my method of coping as the alternative is not great. On a good news note, I ended up luckily getting an 18 month old apricot female Borzoi up in DC yesterday who is now Maxie and my firm companion. She is gorgeous and a big sweetie. Long story but we thought getting via rescue group would take a year and it took five weeks due to some unusual circumstances. She has no abuse or conditions, is young and healthy and just a great big sweetie learning us and our house and vice versa. I’ll send a photo if I still have your email. Maxie never liked it once Kate was gone or was happy so she is much happier now as am I. Just returned from Blue Ridge camping for three days in my chicken camping Fleetwood 2005 used/new pop up tent camper…great tool to get me mountain time.

  2. Lance Pearson October 13, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    Our new girl is: “Liliana” or “Lili” for short….

  3. Kristen R. October 13, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Em, I had no idea and am without words as to what you’re going through. Honestly, if I were in your shoes (meaning, no kids and your gig), I would do the exact same thing. I hope the trail is good, and I look forward to hearing about this and the PCT. If you have reading time, I encourage you to go back to me and khp’s blog and read the posts from our third blogging partner, Claire. She’s also, divorced, but in different circumstances. However, I think the processing of feelings can be much the same. You know I’m a big E-Moore fan, and I’m still that girl who wrote you letters while you conquered Alaska. You are strong. You have infectious energy. Good things are waiting for you out there. Indulge in too much wine and cigs for now b/c sometimes you just need to (lord knows I would). Then hit the trail and and let it all go. I think you’re lighting out for an emotional journey, not a physical one. Give in to it, let go and enjoy the ride. You are one tough chick, my friend. I look forward to hearing about your journey — and, hopefully, seeing you somewhere along the way.

    • emily October 13, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

      Kristen, Your kind words will be held near and dear to my heart as I head out into the “unknown”. Thank you. In all sincerity. E

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      • khpixler October 13, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

        Em, I am feel so sad reading this. I cannot imagine the pain you are in right now. I feel a tear in my heart for you. I agree with every word KR said. You are strong, independent, brilliant, and beautiful with an amazing curiosity for the world around you. You have had incredible adventures with and without your partner. Your life will continue to be rich and amazing, you just need to get over this heartache. I am so glad you have Jen and your family there to help you through this. I would also be doing the same thing. So don’t feel bad for this time, you will figure it out on the trail. Each step you will get let go of the past and move forward into new amazing adventure. Love you dearly and wish I was there to be an ear, fill up your wine glass and help pack your bags for a new day. Thinking of you.

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