It’s hard to believe that it’s so close. I feel like it’s only been a few days since I originally posted about my plans to head to Colorado for a week long backpacking expedition in the Maroon Bells Wilderness of Aspen, but that was in February! How time sneaks by. Now, the time to pack my backpack is practically here, and suddenly, I feel rushed.
I’ve been drying food for days, including chili mac, stroganoff, salsbury steak pasta, turkey, veggies, and even some angel food cake. I’ve been drilling myself making sure every detail of the trip is planned and doable. I’ve been checking my gear, counting my food, weighing my pack, and I still feel like there is more to do.
I’ve mapped and mapped, and checked and checked, and it looks like the route is about perfect. Water sources are planned and detailed. I have a list of everything I must carry, and I’ve checked it twenty times. The rental car for the long drive is secured.
The only thing left, is to sit back and wait for the day to arrive, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. There’s a certain tenseness. An uneasiness. A sleep depriving curiosity of the unknowns. It’s not a fear. It’s more of an eagerness, an anxiousness. I’m anxious to get out, and to explore, to put my boots to the earth. I’m anxious to see if I’m ready, to see if I’ve underestimated the 14,000 foot peaks. I’ve done my research, read the maps, and learned all that I can, but, at the same time, I don’t really know what to expect. You can read and read, research and research, and harass the park rangers until they disconnect the phone lines, but you really never know if you’re truly prepared until you hit that trail head.
Perhaps that unknowing is what keeps me coming back to the trails weekend after weekend, month after month, year after year.
Whatever the trip ends up being like, it’s going to be something I’ll remember for a lifetime, and that’s the best part. If it’s great, I’ll never forget. If it’s terrible, I’ll never forget. Either way, the memories are mine.