Na it's not what you may be thinking! (Wink)
A few posts back I mentioned that I was bumping up against another passion of mine. I do have a passion for healthy food and natural medicines and sharing that of course. I also love being creative, learning primitive living skills and being outside in nature. Some of you who have been following me know that I hiked for three months on the Appalachian Trail. I attempted a thru hike in 2011 upon my first return to the US. Sickness took me off the trail and it became a back burner bucket list item to finish that hike. I often wondered if it would be possible to long-distance hike again, given my health issues, lack of hiking partner and of course my budget.
While at the RTR this winter some conversations about hiking and living on foot came up. I was pleasantly surprised to find at least one person who was interested in the idea of hiking and living minimally for a time. They were thinking about a trail that I was not familiar with. Yet as we chatted, I found myself incredibly excited. My soul was being jazzed again! I began making silly lists of what I would need to do in order to get out there again. What foods could I carry to stay healthy. I was questioning whether I could take Ozzie or if I would have to find a sitter for him. I began scouring the internet for blogs of my old hiker buddies...researching the dangers and noticing more than ever how different I am today! Every little bit of info continued to jazz my soul and kept me smiling. ... and wondering!
My Amazon wish list had a number of hiking items in it for years. After some serious conversations with the RTR friend about the reality of actually trying a hike and wanting a hiking partner....we decided on some starter activities in preparation for some bigger trip in the future - you know, if and if...comfort levels change and someone is not scared sleeping in a tent, bears, coyotes and the like.
Omgosh I re-evaluated my Amazon wish list and took a deep breath as I hit the order and order confirmation buttons! Between the anxious waiting for gear to arrive, I has my nose buried in a borrowed book. "Into a Dessert Place" by Graham Machintosh. Yes! Yes! I kept saying to myself as I read. As well as my BIG question of how am I going to carry enough water to hike in Arizona. ...the AT and East Coast has a good supply of water along most of that six months long hike. Not so in Arizona and definitely not so in Baja where I was reading about Graham's struggles and hike.
To bring you up to date I have been on a strict budget for a while with the goal of becoming debt free again. The plan is to be out of debt in two years - I'm sticking with that! I had also decided, because I wasn't thrilled with this winters activities,that next fall/winter I want to go to Baja Mexico and intend to participate in Winter Count, which is a primitive living skills event near Phoenix and costs $300.
I had the opportunity to get reacquainted with my skills last week when the RTR friend and I took our dogs, tents and basic gear to a plot of land near St. John's AZ. We were 30 miles from no where more or less! And yes it was GREAT! We walked daily. Tried out some light weight cooking methods. Challenged ourselves and our dogs. We slept in our bivy tents, tied out hikers tarps for shade and enjoyed the companionship of like minded thought.
I was pleasantly surprised that sleeping in the tent felt safe and familiar. Ozzie didn't seem to need adjustment time and accepted the tent as home right away. He even continued his habit of going inside at dusk (which we call coyote time). It was so enjoyable to sit around the small campfire in the evening listening to the round robin howls of coyotes and knowing or remebering how capable I am.
I'm working on some upcoming gear posts. Yes, light weight or ultralight weight and budget friendly.