After leaving the Redwoods, I returned home to Portland, Oregon for a week to get my act together for the Great Divide Trail. I’ve never returned home mid summer like this and it was WONDERFUL! I honestly LOVE living in Portland and am soooo happy with where I return HOME. I got to sleep in most days and let my body rest. I saw many of my friends and the families I work with. I got to take daily showers and sleep in a bed. I didn’t eat a single Clif Bar! I took a well needed break from blogging…it was luxurious! The only downside of being home is that I had to do all the dreaded prep and planning still left for the Great Divide Trail, ugh.

When I got home, there were many care packages that had been sent over the past three months from family and blog followers. Some of the highlights were some awesome “wired green” socks, a Subway gift card, and enough Mountain House dinners to cover the rest of the summer! I can’t thank everyone enough and it really is a boost for me. I pride myself on earning my own hikes, but these things are bonus things that I would never treat myself to, so THANK YOU for that!!! I’ve written the names of those who sent things on the items and you will be out there with me in a way. It makes me smile each time I pull out a bar or dinner with a person’s name on it or an inspirational note from a friend. I like to think that everyone is out there with me through the blog and this is just another level of that. THANK YOU ALL for your support and words of encouragement!

Care package goodies!

So those that know me know that I really am tortured by planning and resupply chores. Much of this week was spent on doing that for the Great Divide Trail. I will get a more detailed post up about the Great Divide trail (which is a relatively very young and lesser traveled trail) in the next few days. I’ll say the planning for it ain’t easy and it’s been quite the summer already with so much organization and logistics to keep track of. I like to have all the information available, so it’s been quite the feat to bring together a variety of sources and resources (which are probably way more than I need!). Just the maps/tracks alone came from six different sources. It’s a lot to take in and the correspondence with I’ve had with many people for various reasons is quite unbelievable. Even with a full week to wrap things up, I managed to have many late nights. I don’t know if it’s possible for me to ever feel fully prepared for these kinds of trips…

Organizing the maps…yep, it’s gonna be grizzly country!

I mentioned that I was fortunate to get to see some of my friends while I was in town. What was even better was that they were able to help me with some of the resupply stuff too. My friend Jennifer (yes, the one that joined me for a section of the PCT in 2011) luckily really enjoys the resupply aspect of planning and she helped me with both the Hayduke and GDT resupplies. Here she is voluntarily making the effort to portion out my Starburts/Skittles bags so I have the equal number of flavors in each bag…Now that’s a quality friend! You rock Jennifer!

Jennifer portioning out the Starbursts

I also was lucky enough to have BaconBit open for a day to come over and finish up the resupplies with me…and also bring over a dehydrator for my for try at dehydrating. I eat a foil packet of tuna or salmon each day for lunch along with tortillas and string cheese. It is a significant amount of my food weight and Rockin’ told me that she just found out about dehydrating tuna/salmon and that it saves over 2oz/pkg. I had to try it! We dehydrated for my longer legs and I have yet to test it, but Rockin’ says it works. Here are instructions on how to do it yourself if you’re interested. Be warned, you should do this outside or in a garage if you are working with strongly scented foods! I can say that with the time and effort put in, I’ve yet to convert to this whole dehydrating process, but maybe someday I’ll give in…for now I’d rather save the time, effort (and stench!) and carry the weight. We’ll see how it goes with the ones I packed! Thank you BaconBit for being there to ease me into this new territory!

Dehydrating tuna/salmon with BaconBit.

So the boxes are finally done! I want to thank my roommate Shelli for helping with boxes, allowing me to have an explosion of maps, gear, and food in the house for days, and pretending that the smell of tuna/salmon wasn’t horrible! Sooo happy to have that completed and I think the hike will be cinch compared to all the planning it’s taken to get there! Here’s a brief video of it all that you may have to be on a desktop to view on the website…

The Hayduke was NOT nice to gear and did a good job of destroying what it could for all of us hikers out there. I am VERY fortunate to have some sponsors that are willing to send me new gear when needed. I don’t like being a walking commercial, but I am very grateful to those companies that have been so supportive and I want to acknowledge them briefly here. I use this gear, not because it is provided to me for free, but because it is what works for me…

-Thanks to Gossamer Gear for the new Mariposa pack after the Hayduke rocks ate my other one up quite a bit.
-Thanks to Dirty Girl Gaiters who has always been there and such a wonderful support!
-The same goes for StickPic (not pictured) who was one of my earliest supporters. Thank You! The StickPic is probably the smallest piece of gear that has made the biggest impact on my video/photography/blogging.

New Dirty Girl Gaiters and Gossamer Gear Mariposa Pack.

-Thanks to Sawyer for providing me with new Squeeze Bags since I managed to puncture my last ones with cacti. I also use the amazing Sawyer Sunscreen, which somehow kept me pale in the desert for two months! A new product I will be trying out is the Sawyer Insect Repellant. It comes in varying levels of strength both in spray and lotion form. I am sure I’ll get plenty of bugs on the GDT to test them to their fullest. Sawyer has amazing products that are used worldwide and have great videos on their website with detailed information on them too.

Squeeze bag, Insect Repellant, and Suncreen from Sawyer.

-Thanks to Trail Designs who noticed I’ve been using the same Caldera Stove set for almost 10,000mi and offered to send a new shiny one!

A Trail Designs Caldera Cone set after almost 10,000mi.

So that’s how my week at home was spent. Now I’m off to Montana to visit my brother and his family for a few days before my 100mi hike on the CDT (June 30th) and then the grand finale of the GDT (July 6th). More to come on all that soon…

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