Our buddy, Austin, is opting to resupply at grocery stores along the way as he didn't have time to prepare packages for himself. I know that I've mentioned that before but it makes me wonder if that wouldn't have been the better choice. More expensive, yes, but every little bit of preparation outside of food is so strenuous as it is. And dehydrators take so damn long. Nevertheless, it's what we are doing and we believe it will help and not hinder our making it to the very end. And you know what? You'll be seeing every pleasure and every struggle via the film. These questions will be answered. We'll know every answer by no later than October.
Good news comes from our good friend, Eric Beyer, who relocated to Asheville, NC a few years ago as he agreed to pick up Chaser at Fontana Dam before the Smokeys and drop him off after. There was some slight inner conflict with this blessing. One of the aspects of this film was the true trials and tribulations of having a dog on the Trail. One of those, being boarding and shuttling through segments of the Trail dogs aren't allowed. As of last year it would have cost $250 to board and shuttle through the Smokeys, possibly more this year(damn gas prices). When I realized how close Asheville really was, I hit Eric up. His dog, Quincy, and Chaser spent time to together as young pups. Chaser knows Eric. It may not be a whole lot cheaper getting Eric to and from the Trail twice, but it's far more comforting knowing that he is with a familiar face. So, we are gonna go ahead and write it off as Trail Magic. Well, PreTrail Magic. Here's to you, Eric. Thanks, Bro!! Looking forward to seeing you and hiking some miles with you. We hope you are getting in shape cause we should be tip top by that time.
We have one month. What a count down. We decided December before last. What, 400 or 450 days of talking, learning, teaching, working, gearing, and reading towards this huge event? And now it's the final 31. The books, the films, the dreams of white blazes, shelters, mountains, trees, fellow hikers, fires, rain, small towns, and big stories are closing in to becoming reality. It almost doesn't seem real. So much support from so many people, strangers and friends alike.
Lindsay's friend at work, Lauren, mentioned to her dad that we were off to hike the AT. She said that he had recently watched the NatGeo doc on Netflix, coincidentally, and became serious with excitement for us with some knowledge of what we'll be up against. "Lindsay, you don't understand. My dad doesn't get like that", she said. We don't know him. Might never have the chance. But he supports it. Hell, it may have even planted the "I get out there and see what it's about, like these kids" seed in him. We really hope so.
I finally got all my clothes. I wanted to put up some pictures but my MacBookPro doesn't seem to want to read my iPhone's new pictures via iPhoto. Fine. Have it your way. Good chance upon coming home, the film will require a more up-to-date, more powerful Mac to successfully create a full length film. I'll worry about that when the time comes. Columbia clothing is what matched the budget, availability, and design I've been looking for. Their small shirts are actually small and 30x30 pants are actually 30x30 and all within monetary range which is a huge plus. I racked up on Academy's clearance rack yesterday. Cold weather gear on sale. Perfect. Exactly what we'll need the first month or two for early spring in the mountains and the last month or two for above-treeline hiking. I feel set. I'm comfortable with the weight and, well... the comfortably of the clothing. It's all gonna be put to quite the test.
There are some serious thanks that need to said. We completed our goal on GoFundMe.com thanks to a very bad ass uncle who wanted no thanks. But he's getting some anyway. Thank you, Uncle Uncle. We really appreciate every one of those dollars and hope you can make it for some miles. Also, good friend, Spencer Rimes, who set aside some cash and slipped it to us the other day. It's already come in handy. Not a penny of any donation has been spent frivolously. It's all for the Trail. Most all of it still untouched. To everyone, again, WE THANK YOU. Mind you, people are still able to donate even though the "goal" has been met via GoFundMe.com. We won't turn away money. Keep in mind you are also purchasing the film and water painting(s). We have a serious list going on and would be happy to add your name.
More pictures next week!