It’s March. It’s March. I wake up in the morning on my mattress on the floor and the birds are chirping loudly. Cannot sleep. Mountains are calling.
I’m sitting on the ground floor of the Yale School of Forestry, taking a break from cramming on recent research on gas solubility systems. Much science. Very wow. They told me it usually takes a couple months to get fully up to speed in the lab; too bad I’m only here for another week. Blast. Sorry, science. I wish I could spend more time running your samples and drafting your slopes. I wish I could calculate your fluxes and measure your solubilities. I wish I understood you better. Too bad. It’s the middle of March, and the trail keeps me awake at nights. It’s March. Almost time to go. March.
One of the things about being obsessed with this hike is that I’ve had years to plot out how not to starve. This included sending emails to companies who had relevant products and pretending vaguely I am coherent, responsible, and respectable, and totally know what I’m doing I promise, please give me this thing I need; sending more emails to folks who never replied except for Peter Raymond at the Yale School of Forestry who did and offered me a job for this winter (science); keeping as much in the bank as I could (hahahahahaha ok); and contacting Dick Anderson, up in Maine, who started putting together the IAT back in ’94.
Dick put me in touch with Don Hudson (the current president of the Maine chapter of the IAT) and a number of other folks. They’ve provided incredible help with logistics, and since Dick’s emails consist mainly of capital letters and long strings of exclamation points, whenever I’m feeling down and out about my long hike, I go read them. They’re sincerely the best. Make my day, erry day. I got to drive up and meet with Dick and Don several weeks ago to go over routes in the international portions, and I’ll fill y’all in on some of that with great celebration and much aplomb, once I get around to writing it all down for ya. In other news…
I learned about a week and a half ago that the board of the Maine chapter of the IAT has allocated some of their budget towards making sure Sail doesn’t starve, or fall off a cliff from weakness and ill health (!!). They will be providing some funding for me to feed my face, and contracting with me to continue communicating about ye olde experiences (aww yiss guys, we’ve got this covered). I’ll also be providing data collection on shelters/hiker resources, etc, as I move into trail systems that are less populated with information than the AT, and as they work with Guthook’s (a smartphone trail guide, worth checking out) over the next couple years to pull together a comprehensive guide for the Canadian portions of the IAT.
What this really means for me, my people, is that now I can afford five snickers bars per week, instead of two. Step one: Let them give me their allocation. Step two: Run away into the woods muahahahahha. Gallivant across mountainsides. Make teas from lichens. Peer at fungi. Stick hands into streams. Stare at trees. Step on rocks. Haul tree limbs off trails. Climb up rocks. Sometimes wash clothes. Meet all the people. Exist.
Well… Ok…. we did that before. But we’re doing it even better now.
…Ok… Well… actually it’ll be the same game as before, with more information gathering once we hit Canada. I’ll just have more snickers bars, and won’t need to stop to work for food money for quite a while. Thanks again to the folks up in Maine for investing in a random erstwhile human who ain’t done much yet. Your support means a lot.
Anyways, keep on keeping on, my people. It’s March. It’s March. We’ll be back on the trails in very little time. My backpacking accouterments are spread all over my room as we speak, preparing themselves to go. It’s March. Stay real.
Peace out, my scouts,