If you live in Maine like I do, then you might be going stir-crazy with all of this bitterly cold weather that we’ve been having lately. It just snowed about 12 inches a couple days ago, which is super exciting (because skiing/snowshoeing), but then the next day was -13 with windchill. Besides shoveling our driveway, I stayed inside ALL DAMN DAY curled up in a cocoon of blankets with my cat.
As I took part in the only warm part of my day (a hot shower), I must have thawed out my brain too because I got to thinking about this blogging thing again. I have been MIA for two reasons: crazy work stress and the holidays. I LOVE the end of the year and all that the holidays bring, except for the madness that ensues in the office.
But, now it’s 2018, which means that it’s…
I really haven’t dedicated much thought to our hike in the past few months. For one, it just seemed so far away. But now that we’re in 2018, I decided to get more serious with planning.
Not only have we made some major gear acquisitions lately, but we have also purchased our one-way tickets to San Diego and secured our start date!
But, before we get into this year’s adventure, let’s back up to last year and catch up on what happened in 2017…
2017 didn’t start out on a high note – my grandfather passed away in late January. My family and I all flew out to Ohio for the funeral and to spend time with our family. This is not the type of trip that anyone wants to make, but the time spent with family was comforting and I heard so many stories about my grandpa that I had never heard before. Reflecting on those memories was a true joy in the midst of all the grief.
Mid-month, Miles and I flew out to California for a week-long road trip up the coast. This was my first time there (if you don’t count that one time I was on a group hiking trip when I was 16 and our chaperone accidentally drove into the state from Nevada). We started our trip in Los Angeles, before making stops in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Simeon (we had to skip Big Sur due to the landslide), Monterey, Santa Cruz, Big Basin, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Muir Woods, and Sonoma.
When we went out west, we had no thoughts geared towards a PCT thru-hike whatsoever. Little did we know that we would be back in CA a little over a year later!
Nothing too exciting happened in March, but I did go through all of my earthly possessions still in residence at my parents’ house during a weekend of dog-sitting. I donated and/or trashed a ton of stuff and it felt very liberating.
Of course, I kept all of my Beanie Babies and Pokemon cards.
This was the last month before thru-hiking re-entered our lives. As the temperatures increased, so did my time outdoors. I went for a beautiful Easter hike up Pleasant Mountain in Bridgton, taught my nephew how to play tennis, and watched in awe as flowers began to bloom once again in our tiny garden.
MAY: PCT 2018
May. The month we made the decision to hike the PCT.
If you haven’t already, you can read more in depth about how I decided to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail here. Basically, I went out to Albany for my best friend’s son’s 1st birthday and I came back with dreams of thru-hiking again.
I also ran my very first trail race – the Pineland Farms 10K on Memorial Day weekend. It was muddy, wet, and quite hilly, but a great first 10K trail race.
And most importantly, I spent many hours outside with our cat, Pi.
In mid-June, Miles, my dad, and I headed to Boston for two Dead & Company shows at Fenway Park. Not only was it Father’s Day weekend, but my birthday happened to be on that Friday as well. It was a dual celebration and we had a blast at both shows jamming to our collective favorite band.
JULY: Family & Firsts
July was a really fun month. That’s really the best way I can describe it. Nothing monumental happened, but it was by far one of my favorite months in 2017. We spent the 4th of July back home in Bucksport and attended an engagement party for friends in the beautiful town of Castine. The 4th is also my dad’s birthday, so we had a fun time celebrating with the fam and swimming in the pool and playing some tennis.
I tried my hand at golf…well, a driving range. I’m not sure I’ll ever make it an actual golf course though after that experience.
We went to two new breweries in Biddeford, went to Funtown Splashtown with my nephew, Louie, and my best friend, her husband, and son came to visit us for a few days.
AUGUST: Baxter Getaway
After shooting a wedding up in the Bangor area the first Saturday of August, Miles and I headed further north to Baxter State Park for a weekend of hiking. We revisited the Hunt Trail, which is the final leg of a NOBO AT thru-hike up Katahdin. We planned on doing Knife Edge, but it was insanely windy on the summit. Knife Edge is not a trail that you want to take on in extremely windy circumstances. The next day we hiked up Mt. Coe and North & South Brother.
SEPTEMBER: Extending Summer
September was beautiful here. Knowing that we would be missing our favorite time of year here in Maine in 2018, we took in the warm rays of an extended summer as much as we could.
About a year and a half ago, I randomly decided to give a listen to the Hamilton soundtrack. I’m not really into musicals, but I do love me some good Revolutionary War history and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s latest work. It didn’t take long for me to become obsessed with pretty much every song.
Yes. I try to sing all of the parts in a song and often times run out of breath.
I so wanted to see it on Broadway, but tickets are crazy expensive. I gave up on the idea until I looked into seeing it in Chicago. Not only was I able to snag affordable tickets to the show, but also a round-trip flight to/from Chicago! My best friend, Sarah, and her husband, Chris, and I hopped on a plane in Boston and took a quick 48-hour trip to Chicago to see Hamilton together! We had an absolute blast not only at the show, but exploring a new city. Chicago was awesome and I can’t wait to go back and spend more time there.
NOVEMBER: Back to Boston
As my photography season began to wind down, the holiday prep began to ramp up. My nephew turned 5 years old in late October, so as his gift this year, Miles, my sister, her husband, and I all took him to the Museum of Science in Boston. This was his first time there, so it was really fun to watch him explore.
His favorites – dinosaurs, gemstones, planets, and machinery.
I’ve already mentioned this best friend of mine a couple of times in this post, so you might realize that we are super close. Sarah and I might as well be sisters.
Both of us wanted to do a best friend trip before the end of the year, so we started researching options back in the spring and we decided on Iceland!
Yes, yes – I have been here twice prior to our recent trip, but I absolutely love Iceland. I keep going back because I want to share the beauty of the country with everyone I know. It has been different every single trip and I definitely plan on going back there again – top of the list is the Westfjords.
Christmas at home with my family was low key and memorable as always. We got a ton of snow on Christmas Day for the first time in years and we took full advantage with snowshoeing behind my parents’ house.
And of course, we brought our beloved feline, Pi, up north with us to partake in the holiday festivities.