Backpacking Alaska

Every so often, my heart stops and then beats irradically. It is almost a month to the day that I will be backpacking for TWO WEEKS through the Alaskan wilderness. I am so excited I feel like I will be sick when I think about it. Two weeks of completely stripping away all of my comforts and leaving me bare to learn who I am and how I will survive in land unknown.

From what I know, I will spend the first week learning how to live off the land, how to read a map and topography, how to cook on the little stove (gluten-free, of course), how to sleep without a tent (but my sleeping bag seriously rocks) and so many other wonderful new things. I love to learn!! Seriously am really excited to learn how to survive with a backpack. I just love nature and being outside, so this will be a crucial step in my life.

The second week they split us up into small groups of 3 or 4 people, tell us where we will meet them and then off we go for seven days on our own with a different leader each day. So I get to be in charge, nothing new for me - as I am definitely a leader and then I get to follow - pretty darn excited to see how I do helping and pushing at the same time. Though I honestly don't see this will be a challenge.

I have never been to Alaska before and I will be going all by myself. Weird how I am 34 and I still cannot really see myself as an adult. I still wonder who will be accompanying me. I am such a child at heart that it is hard to really picture that I am now in the form of the responsible adult in the group. It isn't just that I shine through as the leader bc I have been doing that since I was little, but I am actually the oldest person (usually) and am turned to regardless of my position.

I will fly to Alaska, stay in a bed and breakfast overnight (doubt I will sleep tho), then go to the packing and meeting station where we will learn how to pack our food, go through our packs to check for extra weight, repack our things, learn basics in classroom setting and then hike away. After seven days, our food gets dropped to us by helicopter and then we start hiking again.

I am so excited to see animals. I am hoping we don't get too close to the bears as has happened once in the past, but I am really not too worried about that. I am the one checking out the bird while driving bc they are so incredibly beautiful. I have a lifetime membership the zoos and yes, I did go to San Diego Zoo all by myself as I was going to be in the area. I love animals and I cannot get over how amazing they are.

A friend and I went hiking and running this morning. I felt really good. My asthma was barely felt at all, but we really took our time getting warmed up. We hiked up the first half of the trail and then ran down the second half. As the shade is better in the afternoon, it was a bit hot with the sun right one us, but it is beautifully 80 degrees here, so hot is really relative. I also brought a small container of water to share. It definitely helped. I wish I was in better shape, but quite frankly I am working out, but still enjoying myself so realistically, it is good.

I keep wondering if I am ready to spend two weeks backpacking out in the middle of nowhere, but I am not sure if I could ever prepare myself for that. It is almost like I will have to go and experience it, just to really know. It is also the first time I have ever taken a trip like this. Two whole weeks with no access to anyone I know; no electronics; no cell service; just me and the wilderness. I am also really excited to meet the group I will be traveling with. New people are incredibly awesome, especially on trips bc these are friends I end up having for life. I wish I could share this experience with my fiance or my dad bc they are people I want to be able to share everything with, but they will just have to find out through my pictures and (hopefully) a book I'll write about the time.

Life is so good.

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