No, I’m not starting out on the trail yet.
This weekend, though, is the Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick-Off (usually referred to by its elegant acronym ADZPCTKO, which I still don’t know how to pronounce). It’s three days of meeting with current thru-hikers, former thru-hikers, potential thru-hikers, trail angels, ultralight equipment vendors, well wishers, lovers, dreamers, and me. There are presentations on trail conditions, hiking tips, water reports, general trail silliness, and all kinds of interesting things. I’m much looking forward to it—so much so that I signed up to volunteer at the registration table, so hopefully I’ll be able to help people coming in (many of whom are already on their journey and are walking to the event—it’s held at Lake Morena, the first stop for many along the trail) and meet many fellow eccentrics.
Speaking of eccentricity, I’d been plotting every since I got my lovely Gossamer Gear Mariposa backpack about ways to personalize it, and I hit upon an idea I thought was brilliant but was afraid I’d not be able to pull off. Thanks to the useful example on Brian’s Backpacking Blog and the tremendous artistic skills of my long-suffering best friend Devin Parker, my dream came true.
Here’s what the Mariposa looks like out of the box:
And here’s my beauty now, post modification:
Utterly silly, and yet it makes me monumentally happy. We’ll see how the design holds up on the trail, but I’m rather hoping I have the only blue Gossamer Gear out there this year. The more people that associate me with Doctor Who, the more delighted I shall be.
I have to finish preparing for the upcoming journey, so I’ll leave you with this fantastic photo of me, taken by my son, to show off my amazing sense of style with my fleece vest, sun hat, and grandpa oversized sunglasses.
Look out, ladies!