Thursday, March 31, 2011

if this situation were chocolate, it'd be bittersweet...

i no longer own a truck! :)/:( on one hand, i no longer own a truck. :( on the other hand, i won't have to make those God-awful truck payments each month and pay ridiculous amounts of insurance and i will be able to HIKE HIKE HIKE all the way to maine. well, i mean... barring anything horrible happening that would pull me off the trail. 

the guy came down from north carolina last night and had a cashier's check in hand. he drove it around a little bit, played with the 4WD, and then we signed the bill of sale. i was kind of in shock that it happened last night, and when he cranked it up to drive it away, i got all misty-eyed. one day, i'll have another one. 

so i need to get with the program and finish buying my gear and figuring out my timeline for things. i haven't bought all my gear just yet because i wasn't 100% sure if i was going to be able to hike, and i didn't want to put all this money into gear that i wasn't sure i'd be able to use just yet. 

to help myself organize my thoughts, here's a list. things in bold, i've already got. the rest is just general ideas and things that i know i'll need. if anyone has any ideas, please feel free to leave me some hints. i'm not 100% sure what all i'll need for six months in the woods just yet, even if i have done a lot of research on all this...

pack group

  • pack: coleman max elate 65L
  • pack cover: came with the pack

sleeping gear

  • sleeping bag: campmor 20* down bag
  • sleeping pad: -
  • liner: -
  • tent: msr hubba hubba


  • camera
  • battery charger
  • extra sd card
  • extra battery
  • transfer cable - bounce box?
  • mp3 player? (would have to buy)
  • stove: currently have the new esbit stove; thinking about getting a msr pocket rocket
  • fuel: - ; esbit tabs for now, poss. canisters later
  • pot: dimebag ok? haha... jk
  • frying pan: do i really need one of these?
  • mug: -
  • spork: -
  • bladder: -
  • bladder: -

hygiene/first aid/general group

  • bug spray 
  • rope
  • water purification
  • headlight
  • knife
  • tooth paste
  • tooth brush
  • soap 
  • vitamins
  • ibuprofen + acetaminophen
  • more powerful painkillers
  • benadryl
  • pepto tabs
  • neosporin
  • 2 ace bandages 
  • needles
  • thread
  • 2 4×4  gauze pads
  • 5×9 gauze pad
  • emergency blanket
  • toe/hand warmers 
  • whistle 
  • alcohol pads 
  • toilet paper 
  • thru-hiker's companion 
  • eye drops
  • spare set of contacts
  • compact mirror
  • tweezers
  • face wipes
  • dental floss
  • trowel

clothing worn

  • shoes: merrells
  • poles: probably wal-mart poles
  • shirt: -
  • pants: -
  • socks: smartwool hiking socks
  • socks: liners?
  • underwear: ex-officio?

clothes packed

  • socks: smartwool 
  • socks:  liners?
  • rain jacket: one that i've had for forever
  • camp shoes: croc-like 
  • base layer: top?
  • base layer: bottom?
  • base layer: sports bra
  • buff x2, bandana
  • shirt: - 

swayze stuff

  • ruffwear approach pack
  • dog food
  • kong/peanut butter
  • leash/collar/tags
  • frontline/heartgard
  • rimadyl
  • ridgerest sleeping pad

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

so not to jump the gun, and put all my eggs in that basket again, but there's someone from north carolina coming to buy my truck tomorrow? o.O it seemed kind of sketch yesterday, and i'm still not sure what to think, but we've exchanged well over 75 texts, three or four emails, and we talked on the phone for a little over ten minutes this morning. he said he's been following a couple of trucks for a little bit on craigslist and that he's narrowed down his choice to mine. he wants to pay cash. if some guy shows up tomorrow afternoon with $14,500 cash, you better believe i'm takin' a picture of all that before i deposit it in my bank account. :) 

in other news, last night kelly, katie, and i all went out and had a blasttt. we started out at the corner pocket and shot a few games of pool, but since it was a monday night, it wasn't really busy at all, so we headed to west ashley to the tin roof and listened to a one-man band play. then we went and shot pool at the kountry klub (redneck, i know) and we finished off the night at waffle house. after three whiskey sours and a shot of jack, that waffle, order of hashbrowns, and three cups of coffee was amazing! 

also, my hair is super frizzy today. i decided to commemorate the occasion by buying this shirt at target. :) 
Licensed Chia Pet Screen Tee - Gold

Sunday, March 27, 2011

i'm so easily amused...

kelly and i went to the gas station last night and bought powerball tickets for the $125M lottery. she said if she won, she'd buy my truck and let me keep it and then send me hikin'. i said if i won, i'd buy her house and let her keep it and then go hikin'. needless to say, today we're just $3 poorer than we were yesterday.

i discovered this morning that the $25 rain jacket that i bought years ago at wal-mart is packable. it stuffs into itself! that's freakin' amazing! no wonder it was $25, haha. regardless... i think that'll wind up being the one i take on the trail with me. we'll see...

i stuffed my sleeping bag into its stuff sack and packed it this morning. i'm gonna pack the tent in later and just kinda fiddle with it. i'm so ready to get out of chucktown.

the guy who test drove the truck last week just came and picked it up to take it out on the highway for a second drive. "dear God, please! thank ya! love ya! bye!"

also, as something to get my mind off the crappy weather here in charleston today, here's a littie video i ran across a few weeks ago.

Green Tunnel from Kevin Gallagher on Vimeo.

Friday, March 25, 2011

looking up?

so... showing my truck again this weekend. the guy actually checked it out last week and drove it around the neighborhood; he wants to take it out on the highway sunday and he actually even mentioned possible paperwork should he like what he sees come sunday. we'll see. i'm not getting my hopes up. every time i do the whole "all eggs in" thing, i get let down. i'm just crossing my fingers and praying. that's about all i can do.

in other news, i have three days in a row off starting sunday!! if i can find a decent hiking trail in the charleston area, i might go on a mini-backpacking trip. maybe. we'll see. i'm semi-excited about this. 
also, a few awesome hiking discoveries:
1) i'm getting better at figuring out how much things weigh by the feel of 'em! =) i picked up four pears today at publix and figured i'd take a guess at how much they weighed. i was spot on at 1.5#. i was sorta proud of that. :) 
2) baby bell cheeses just came out with a white cheddar cheese! yes!
3) i discovered this new product at publix today... it's called mia? mio? anyways... it's a drink mix and it comes in quite a few different flavors. i picked up the sweet tea mix just for shits & giggles, and it's not bad at all! no weird aftertaste that you get with all of those other zero-cal sweeteners. none of that nasty, back of the mouth grossness.

umm... that's about it for now. until i sell my truck, there's no real new news on the hiking front. just sleeping in my sleeping bag and trying to pretend i'm on my way to springer.

as a side note, i went to a thrift store today just to see what i could find. i found bill bryson's "a walk in the woods" in there. right where it belongs. that book is so overrated. i guess i wouldn't have been nearly as disappointed as i was in it had i known going into it that he didn't even hike a quarter of the trail. but everybody raved at how great a book it was because he hiked the AT and wrote about his experiences, blah blah blah. he basically stayed in a hotel the whole time and bitched when the goin' got tough. i dunno. i just wasn't a big fan, and thought it kinda funny that the "most popular" book on the AT is sittin' on a shelf, waitin' for somebody to plop two quarters down and buy it.

as a second side note, i also saw TWO copies of a book that i bought in a discount bin a while back. "amanda bright @ home." it makes me wonder just how crappy the book really is, for me to have bought it in a discount bin, and for two copies to be sitting in the same thrift store. i wonder if it'll even be worth my time? o.O oh well... i guess if i can read twilight, i can read this book. but then again, the writing in "the memory keeper's daughter" was so bad i couldn't even get past the second or third chapter. "light of the streetlight"... that still gets me. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011


i slept in the backyard last night. in my tent. and in my 20* bag in 60* weather. it was unzipped, though. swayze slept out there with me on her little ridgerest pad. i figured out that i need a better sleeping pad. i don't have a very good one right now, anyways. the stars were awesome. i watched a lot of csi-type showed before i went outside. it was probably a mistake. i had weird dreams in the middle of the night and dreamed that i got scared enough to go inside, but i ran through a huuuuge spiderweb on my back inside to the house. it was all a dream, though. weird. the neighbor's dog kept barking last night. all in all, i slept well, i just need a better pad. i wish i were on the trail. =/ if i don't sell my truck soon, this will all have to wait until next year. i overdrew my account the other day. i have money in savings that covered the overdrafts, but now i'm eating into my AT savings. i get paid tomorrow, but i still need to sell my truck. sigh.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

i just can't... lose?

so i showed the truck to a guy yesterday. he really liked it. he just called me back. he's passing on it. 

on one hand, the phrase "i just can't win for losin'" comes to mind. but on the other hand, i think to myself, "your day will come." 

i've figured out that i'll probably wind up getting a canister stove for my hike. the pocket rocket seems like a decent deal, but i was reading an article on whiteblaze yesterday/today that said coleman actually makes a pretty good canister stove that's a little more stable for the same price. 

i even washed my truck before i showed it to the guy yesterday. sigh. at least he let me know for sure, and didn't leave me hanging. that's the worst. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

3 outta 3

i just ordered my sleeping bag. :) i bought the campmor +20 down bag in the long length because it was on sale for $10 cheaper than the regular length, and i read that the regular length was only good if you're 5'6" and not a centimeter taller. i figure since i'm 5'6", i'll give myself some extra room for the next day's clothes at the bottom of my bag. so now i've got my big three... my bag, my pack, and my shelter. for some reason, i guess i feel like the more i buy, the closer i'll be to leaving when i want to.

i'm still pretty apprehensive and antsy about getting on the trail, but i'm trying to look at things the way my friend jessica put them the other day. i'm trying to trust in the fact that i'll get on the trail when God wants me on the trail and that He has good things in store for me.

there's a full moon out tonight. i sure wish i was cowboy campin' underneath it somewhere in georgia. 
thus far, i've spent $72 on my pack, $225 on my tent, and now $110 on my bag. $407ish. technically, i overspent $20 on the tent because i bought the footprint separately and it came with a footprint, so when i take my stuff back to jackson, i'll stop and exchange it for $20 in some sort of gear at the rei store in atlanta.  so $387 for gear so far. not too bad, right?

my ad starts in the paper for my truck tomorrow. hopefully, this weekend will be a successful turnout for the selling of my truck. fingers crossed and praying, praying. 

to organize my mind, just a brief list of things that i'll need to take care of/get before i head out: 
build and test an alcohol coke can stove
get swayze to the vet to update her bordatella
register her microchip
buy her pack
get a set of trekking poles
get a sleeping pad
figure out her gsmnp boarding situation
figure out how much food she'll eat each day
figure out my layering situation
make an eye doctor appointment and order more contacts
call the student loan people!! tomorrow!! (i've forgotten about this one)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

new perspective?

soo... i posted something on facebook yesterday because i was slightly frustrated/upset because joshua left yesterday morning for georgia. he summitted springer this morning and sent me a text with the picture of the AT trail plaque attached. it's not about him; it's about my jealousy/envy. i wish it were me, out there on the trail with my pack on and my dog with me, setting up camp right about now so spend my first of many nights in the woods. 

i updated my facebook status yesterday to read: "dear Lord, i know your timing for everything is perfect and all, and maybe the reason i haven't sold my truck yet is because maybe if i started the AT right now, i would cross paths with a serial killer, but can't i just sell my truck asap & if i meet a psycho on the trail, you could just give me temporary +50 strength & agility?" and my friend jessica posted a comment that read: "I hope the reason you are having to wait is because there is something super special in store for you rather than a serial killer :)." her comment hit me like a ton of bricks. i generally consider myself to be an optimist, but her comment really made me say, "whoa. maybe she's right. maybe there's actually a good reason i haven't sold my truck and hit the trail just yet." maybe i should just learn to let God deal with everything and trust in His timing. it's so hard, though, because i know what *i* want. but maybe there's something good waiting in store for me and He's postponing me selling my truck because... well. i don't know why. i've never prayed for patience. i do believe everything happens for a reason, but ever since i moved to charleston, i guess i've become a tad bit on the pessimistic side. as i stand right now, other than meeting the people that i've met, i can't see any good that's come out of me getting the job that i moved down here for. but i've beat that dead horse; no use ranting about it now, other than to say that i still don't know why i am where i am in life right now, so it's a little hard to understand why i haven't sold my truck. if any of that even makes any sense. 

there's a saying, "let go and let God." my desire to get out of charleston and out of society is so intense right now, it's seriously like a physical... not ache or pain or hurt. i guess "condition" is maybe the word i'm looking for? but it's a real, physical thing in my chest. it's so hard to let everything go and trust in Him when i'm so focused on where i'd really like to be right now. i watched a few youtube videos of AT thru hikers yesterday and it brought tears to my eyes. maybe that makes me a pansy. 

i'd really just like to sell my truck. i'm gonna have to sell it regardless; i can't support it on a starbucks salary. i can't afford it anyways, and i don't know what i'm going to do if i haven't sold it come april first, 'cause that's about when i told kelly i'd be out of her house. i just know that being on the trail will be relatively (mentally) stress-free because i'll be out in the woods with nature and God and my dog and i'll have nothing to bother me. and it stresses me out even more that the truck is the last big obstacle standing between me and being stress-free. 

geez. this entry sounds like i should have been lying on a couch with a guy and his notepad sitting behind a desk. =P

Saturday, March 12, 2011

anybody wanna buy a truck? =)

oh my dear lordt. i went to bristol wednesday night and came back last night and had an absolute amazing time. i stayed with my friend joshua and had lunch with awesome friends at awesome places that i really miss dining at. i dropped jolie off with nick. =/ it's kind of weird not having a second dog. i let swayze sleep in the bed with me last night. 

joshua left for his thru-hike today. i don't wish i was going with him, necessarily. hyoh kind of thing, ya know? but i'm extremely jealous that my dream isn't as within reach as i thought it was. i have yet to find a buyer for the truck. the last guy even started paperwork at his bank on the truck, but some other truck's paperwork finalized before mine did. le sigh. 

joshua's pack is 33 lbs. i picked it up, and that's extremely heavy! the last big purchase i need to make is a sleeping bag. i'm not sure how much my pack will end up weighing. oh, and i need to buy swayze's stuff, too. like her pack and a blanket/coat for her. 

i got my tent in last friday!! =D it's basically amazing. it's huge and i can set it up in less than five minutes (if i don't stake it out). i'm sure if i counted staking it out and whatnot, it'd be more, but anyways. swayze and i fit in it just fine! 

i wish i were headed to springer right now. i hear the mountains calling, calling. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

i'd really like to sleep in the backyard, please...

so my tent has yet to come in! :( maybe tomorrow will be my lucky day and i'll get to sleep in the backyard tomorrow night. ew... or maybe not. i forget i have to be at work at 530 saturday morning. pfft. i picked up nikole's boyfriend's jeep today. this is so crazy and amazes me so much that this is all really coming together for me. i really thank God for that everyday. it's crazy to me that i'm gonna hike the appalachian trail. with my dog. i'm almost apprehensive/nervous about it... but not so much in the "i can't do this" way, but moreso in the "am i really ready for this? people prepare for this for years and i don't even have my sleeping bag" way. i still don't have adequate clothing or any stuff sacks or a water purification system or a blanket or pack for swayze or... hell... what all else do i need? i don't even know. i'm not even sure what i'm gonna do with my cell phone. i reckon i could just turn it off. so many thoughts all floating through my head... i wish i could catch them and stick them all together and organize them like a pearltree.