In 14 days, I leave to embark on my latest adventure, hiking the Camino de Santiago. The preparation for this hike has taken on a vastly different form than the PCT. By vastly different, other than travel arrangements to and transfers within Europe, I have done little preparation other than packing my backpack.
I purchased “A Pilgrims Guide to the Camino De Santiago”, by John Brierly, but have barely opened. I covered the first chapter or so, but have been otherwise preoccupied and have not been able to dedicate the painstaking hours I spent reading and planning for the PCT. For good reason, this hike is nothing like the PCT.
Unlike the PCT, this hike takes one through many villages a day. Resupply strategies and carrying every single thing you will need to survive is unneccessary. It almost feels I will be slack packing across France and Spain. My base weight for the PCT was close to 23 pounds. For the camino I will be just over single digits, if not, I will be just a touch over 10 pounds. There is no need to carry more than a snack or a meal, and enough water for a few hours.
No this journey proves to be different. This journey feels almost whimsical as I hadn’t planned to be doing it. I plan to carry on through this hike in a similar manner.
In talking with Tony, one of the individuals I am accompanying on this journey, he asked me, “Did you ever get to a point on the PCT where you were able to let go, and just be? Were you able to move outside of time tables and plans and be in the moment for extended periods?”
I did not. I can remember a few instances in which I let go of the past, and stopped thinking about the future. This instances were rare and fleeting. In the back on my mind, I always had the “schedule” in which I had to make it to Kennedy meadows by the end of April. I was to attend a skills class in the Sierra.
This was a valuable lesson for me. For this hike, my only requirement is to return on July 11th. What happens between May 28th and July 11th will be that of letting go and experiencing the moment. To be present in each step.
This will prove to be challenging. I’m a planner by nature.