The Final Stretch

It’s official. I’ve moved out and am back in Bucksport at my parent’s house to finish up last minute preparations until we leave for Georgia on Wednesday. It’s crazy to think that we’ll be 3 days into our hike a week from now.

Packing up my stuff wasn’t that bad, but after cramming all of my belongings back into my room at my parent’s house, I forgot what it’s like to have a small bedroom. All of my clothes no longer fit in my closet. There’s just enough room for all of my books. And my accumulated collection of DVDs no longer fit on the small shelf they used to fit on only a few years ago.

My room in Portland all packed up. Cash oversees the final packing from my bed.
My room in Portland all packed up. Cash oversees the final packing from my bed.

Leaving Portland wasn’t easy, but I handled it all better than I thought I would. I know that in a matter of months that I’ll be back there and reuniting with my friends and getting back into photography and video editing. And being able to hang out everyday with my nephew Louie will be the best part of all. I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with my life and I think it’s always a good idea to uproot yourself out of a place, at least for a little while, and try something different. There are always two possible outcomes. You may realize how much you love the place you were at prior to the big change, or that you might like your new life even more than the one you were comfortable living before.

How will I be able to leave this face?! I have no idea.
How will I be able to leave this face?! I have no idea.

And I wasn’t lying when I said that writing down all of my worries made me feel more relaxed and ready for our journey. The adrenaline is beginning to set in now and I’ve got so much to do, there’s no time to worry! We’re heading back to Portland on Tuesday, so we can catch an early bus to Boston on Wednesday morning. Between now and then we have to go through all of our gear one last time to make sure we have everything we need and leave behind anything we don’t. I have to discuss last minute logistics with my parents, mainly pertaining to mail drops and communication along the trail. They’re going to be in Spain for the first two weeks of our hike, so we’ll have to do without our main support system for awhile, but we’ll be mailing ourselves some food right before we leave for us to pick up at Neel Gap, so we should be fine. We’re not planning on doing many mail drops anyways, but I want them to be prepared nonetheless. They’ve got the AT map hanging in the kitchen and my mom will be photocopying sections of the map to bring to the local bookstore where she works and where Miles has worked for the past year. She’ll be able to keep anyone interested in our journey updated on our progress.

Tomorrow, I’ll be doing my last photo shoot before our trip; a maternity session for a friend. My sister and I started Tandem Studios last spring and we were surprised with the amount of positive response we had to our business and have done more photo sessions than we ever thought we would do in our first year. It will be hard for me to leave our up-and-coming business after we have established ourselves with so many wonderful families, but we will be ready to get right back into it when I return and take advantage of the beautiful fall colors in Maine for our sessions.

I'm not usually one to do "selfies" as they're so called, but for the purpose of my blog, it had to be done. I miss my long hair :(
I’m not usually one to do “selfies” as they’re so called, but for the purpose of my blog, it had to be done. I miss my long hair 😦

Oh yeah, did I mention I chopped off all of my hair today? Well, not all, but more than I ever have in my life. I hadn’t cut my hair in almost a year and when it started getting annoyingly long a couple of months ago, I was ready to go in for a haircut, but I stayed strong and held off until today. I like having the long locks, but while we’re hiking I really don’t care. I just want to make brushing my thick hair as painless as possible. And a big thank you to my longtime hairdresser in Bucksport, Linda Burgess for the haircut today! She’s seen me through many haircuts, including the time that I chopped off my super long hair when I was 9. I still have that long braid in a drawer in my room. Is that weird? Eh, whatever. I think it’s kind of awesome. Maybe my kids will fight over it one day when I’m dead and gone.

When my hair was super long back in the day.
When my hair was super long back in the day.

On Monday, Miles and I will be going into Bucksport High School to talk with students in the “Man vs. Nature” themed English class. They’re going to be following our thru-hike through my blog and we’ll be giving them an AT map to help them track our progress along the way. Miles has worked at the school for two years and we both went to high school there, so we’re really excited that a lot of our teachers and now Miles’ co-workers and students will be following us.

After staying up til almost 2:30 AM last night watching Inglourious Basterds and The Pianist last night (I promise we didn’t plan on watching two WWII movies in one night, it just happened), I woke up to unpack my car, do laundry, and continue our trail prep. We have all of our food for the first 10 days prepared, half of which we are bringing with us and the other half we will ship to Neel Gap as I mentioned earlier. We gathered all of our first aid supplies and organized it all between the two of us.We practiced hanging our food bags in the tree in my front yard. My parent’s live on a dead end street and I swear, everyone on my street drove by and stared at us like we were crazy. If they only knew what we were about to do…

It’s going to be a whirlwind few days coming up, all culminating in taking our first steps on the Appalachian Trail on Thursday.

 

And be sure to check out the gear page where Miles has FINALLY given me his gear list to post.

 

 

Trail food galore.
Trail food galore.

 

 

Miles redistributing the goods.
Miles redistributing the goods.

 

We love oatmeal and honey buns!!!!!!!!
We love oatmeal and honey buns!!!!!!!!
Stella stands by for any dropped food items.
Our helper, Stella.

 

 

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