I owe this blog a little update. Muskrat and I set out on a 7 day shakedown honeymoon backpacking trip at the end of August, and I have kind of been waiting for him to write a post about it, and I have been kind of using that as an excuse to avoid writing about it myself.
I started writing a play by play of the trip, and I have verbalized the story countless times to friends and family who were eager to hear about it, but putting all of our failures, along with all of the doubts and second guesses that it spawned, out there for the world to read was something I wasn't ready to do. I seriously considered just quietly deleting this whole blog and disappearing to Colorado as if the trail was never on my radar to begin with.
Muskrat didn't have the same view of our shakedown. He was totally jazzed for the trip, took all of the mistakes in a stride, and came out the other side feeling successful and eager to start the thru-hike. He's seriously the most well adjusted human being I have ever met!
So, without going into all of the details of our shakedown honeymoon trip (though I still will do that!), I'll give you a quick update on what's been happening around here since we last posted.
1. We carried way too much food (and other stuff) on the shakedown. It was insane. Off the charts crazy. We estimated that we each had at least 50 pounds in our packs, which is insane considering we share a tent and cooking gear!
2. We ditched the two professional camera bodies, three lenses and the flash we carried on the shakedown in favor of a small, waterproof, shock proof, freeze proof Nikon 1 AW1 mirrorless camera (I'll write a review of it soon!). It still gives us creative control of our settings, but weighs nothing compared to all that other stuff, and now I'm not putting my pro gear at risk for damage.
3. We finished gear shopping with a stack of REI gift cards we received from friends and family at Christmas! Bonus that it was in time for the purchases to count towards the dividend we will see in March! I'll write an update on the new stuff with photos soon! A few of the exciting items: New tent, new sleeping bag, and a backpacking shower (seriously, you'll understand when I finally get that shakedown post finished!)
4. I took a side job walking dogs around Capitol Hill for a local pet supply store. It's been fun, while having the added benefit of walking 8-12 miles per day, and padding the savings account.
Except for the large chunk we spent on . . .
5. Our sweet dog, Dexter fell suddenly ill in mid November, and after several vet visits, tons of tests, lots of bribing him to eat and some hefty bills, he left us for the Rainbow Bridge on December 1. It's made for a heartbreaking end to 2014, especially since his 12th birthday would have been on December 26.
6. The good/bad news from Muskrat's job is that he's being downsized. . . Just in time to start the trail! Talk about good timing!
7. There is so much anxiety building about this huge crazy thing we are doing that we each get a little freaked out about it on a regular basis. Hello 3am conversations about the uncertain future of everything! It's hard to fight the urge to stay comfortable by just sending Muskrat off to grab another international relations job with the Federal Government and dive back into photography here, keeping our lease in our super hip neighborhood.
I have to remind myself that nothing awesome was ever achieved by staying comfortable.
8. We have notified our landlord of our exit date, 2/28, and we are ticking items off of our master to do list. It's all getting real!!
I promise some more detailed posts coming soon! We have so much to do in the next 2 months!