I've pretty much been completely out of my element preparing for this trip. You see, while I thoroughly enjoy the occasional summer hike in the Gorge, the Yosemite trip that we have planned is a far cry from anything I've ever done before. We are "wilderness backpacking"...and I'm not even sure that's what it's officially called! The four of us will have everything we need for 4 days in the Yosemite National Park wilderness strapped to our backs, and yes, that includes our lodging quarters and any food we'll need to consume. That means our lodging will take place out in the wild along with the bears and other creatures of the forest. And did I mention that the majority of the time we'll be at elevations north of 8000 ft. above sea level, which means there's a decent chance we'll encounter snow on the ground? Oh, and here's the real kicker, I checked the 10-day weather forecast today and EVERY day we're scheduled to be out there has a chance of thunderstorms...
And lest anyone think I'm complaining about the impending trek, the opposite is true; I am so excited I can barely stand it! Regardless of, or maybe because of the elements, this trip will be quite the adventure; I'm convinced of it! :)
But what has really contributed to my feeling out of my element is my complete ignorance regarding what to pack. Reid, the only one of the four of us to ever have done anything quite so rugged, is VERY particular about what is and is not acceptable backing gear, which includes his very strong opinions on the shoes and clothing which I need to bring. So, while for any other trip I could successfully manage to pack my own suitcase, usually over packed, this time I'm relying on Reid...who still jokes (somewhat) that he almost didn't marry me b/c I thought Chacos were the ugliest shoes I'd ever seen and I was probably never going to own and wear a pair, regardless of how functional they are. Just for kicks, here's one of the many versions of the Chaco; I challenge anyone to sell me on this shoe!
But I digress...
The issue of functional shoes inevitably came up as preparations for this trip got underway b/c while my old trail-running shoes may have sufficed for my day hikes in the Portland area, according to Reid, they are terribly lacking and would not do for Yosemite.
Thus began many hours spent in REI and The Mountain Shop trying on countless pairs of hiking boots in search of the boot that would make my feet feel glorious even after many hours of hiking on incline, terrain of all kind and with weight on my back. Well, I kicked and screamed, but here are the beauties I ended up with. I know, they're a bit much to take in all at once. I don't know what's worse, the lime green, the fact that they're high tops or the sheer clunkiness factor...how are these supposed to be MORE comfortable? So for about 2 weeks, they sat in their box while I dreaded the "breaking them in" phase which should have started the day I brought them home...I just COULD NOT make myself strap them on and take walks around the neighborhood. I may not be high maintenance, but even I have my pride.
Well, I'm not sure how it happened, but I liken it to a miracle. This past weekend, Reid informed me that if I wanted, we could go back to REI and see what low-top options were available for women's hiking boots. Umm, yes, I wanted! So, back to REI we went, and after much more time (wasted) spent, I traded in the lime beauties for these puppies. Still not much to brag about, but in my opinion, a VAST improvement over the alternative. Reid seems skeptical that I won't be in pain as a result of my decision to switch boots, but I don't care; I just feel like I won a huge battle!