Cleansing, Testing Gear and Sendin' the STOKE!!

          We finally have most of our gear and we got to go take it all for a test drive in forest park and around the neighborhood! We set our shelter up in Peninsula Park which is a few blocks away from our house. We got some strange looks as we walked down the street with our matching packs, coats, and hiking poles looking like we were going on an epic adventure to the park hahah. The tent from YAMA Adventures is wonderful and easy enough to set up. We still need some practice with it to streamline the process and get the best pitch.
          We then packed our packs as close to the real thing as we could and went on a small 5 mile hike in forest park with our good friend Dana. Amy was wondering what we were going to talk about all day, every day together while on the PCT and we all agreed that our daily poops would be a hot topic. We also agreed that there would be plenty of silence and that we are ok with that as well.
           I (Bonsai) have been doing a "no intoxicants cleanse" for the past month (Amy did for most of the month as well) and now I am finishing the month off with a more intensive three day detox cleanse. I bought loots of fresh veggies and fruits to blend into smoothies for my meals for three days. I am also taking some detox supplements to purge my liver and intestines of any gnarly nasty. I am feeling great a day and a half into it. The stoke-o-meter is off the charts at this point. Trying to tie up loose ends and stay present! YIPPIE!
 I found that hat while we were going through all of our shit in our basement and thought I would give it a try again. Don't think it made the cut for my gear list.

                                             What a beautiful home we have! 

   I look like a bit of a giant compared to Amy in that thing...                                                                                              
                                                                                                                  The Queen's new palace.

Too matching?

Love in the trees! 

  Yummy Veggies! Thats all my food for three days. 


Anxiety, Excitement, Love, Gratitude, Spirit

                 Every shift is getting longer and longer. It is getting to be very challenging to stay present at work and not stuck in a PCT daydream all day. My job is very emotionally demanding and I am doing my best to give as much of my intention and attention to my clients as I can. At Second Nature Cascades we use a wonderful tool called the "I feel statement", which is a tool to help understand our emotions and our beliefs surrounding them. In practice we call the "I fell statement" a "check-in" and recently I realized that a lot of my check-ins in the last couple shifts have been of anxiety.
                When I am not actively focusing on remaining in the present moment, my thoughts wonder to places of worry. I worry about the 'what ifs' on the trail and the fact that I am a broke ass mother fucker! I worry about my partner or myself getting hurt on the trail and not being able to complete our thru-hike. I worry about fatigue and boredom. I worry about the after math of all the debt I am most likely going to acquire from hiking the trail with very little money in my bank. I worry about my fitness level and what others are doing to prepare that I am not. I worry about all my gadgets that I'm bringing and the reliability of my gear. I WORRY!
             Then I stop....I breathe...................In...............Out! Oh thats better. I let go of the 'what ifs' and the money concerns. I let go of it all and breathe. One of the sustained truths I have come to realize about life is that the less present you are right now and the more you worry about past and future events, the more likely you are to create those events or repeat the past. When we are thinking of the past or future we are mindlessly going through motions here in the present. When we mindlessly go through motions we are more likely to act upon impulse and habit. we are more likely to act upon that which has been troubling our thoughts. We are more likely to be guided by the ego instead of the heart. Although in the scope of eternity, the ego is a part of our ultimate awakening, it is still another tool to be shed before absolute realization. 
             It might sound simple, but it is a profound and challenging practice to remain in the present moment. Challenging only to let go of old habits, completely effortless once you are HERE! Billions upon billions of people have been trying to describe and refine this practice since the dawn of time....Meditation!...in all its forms, has an end goal of raising our awareness of now. Focusing our lens through which we perceive the world to a finer and finer scope until complete stillness in the present moment is achieved. Complete effortless action propelled by love! Free from ego! Complete awareness of the absolute miracle of NOW, the absolute beauty and magnificence of our current spiritual state and place in our physical and spiritual existence. 
            So, money concerns? It's all ok. I will do my best right now in the moment to save and create opportunities for myself, but whatever the outcome, I will not allow my financial standing to determine my happiness. I will find happiness and fulfillment in the irrational and remain detached from expectations as best as I can. The best way to find happiness is to be happy for no reason, for if there is a reason, it can be taken away. Also, a healthy practice of gratitude will create abundance in our lives. 
As for our physical safety and fitness....Take it as it comes. Stay present and accept pain as a beloved friend and teacher. 
            Boredom? "Everything is ceremony in the wild garden of childhood." - neruda. Live each moment with the awe of a child. We get so used to looking at the world as something we've seen already or something ordinary. Been there, done that. I am putting forth the intention of appreciation and fascination with this magical and mysterious world we have dreamed for ourselves. I truly am fascinated by the seemingly magical ways in which reality unfolds in front of our eyes. 
              My gear will fail....or it won't! Again, I will prepare as best as I can now and accept that I might have to deal with some things failing. I don't know how everything is going to work with my style and flow on the trail and I am open to figuring it out once I am out there. It's all a part of the adventure! 
I believe that a healthy spirit results in a healthy body, a healthy mind, and a healthy and fulfilling life. 

So what are some of the ways that Amy and I do prepare for the trail?

 Soaks, Floats, And Saunas!
The Sauna at the Everett Healing House is incredible! It feels like a hot sacred little hobbit hole. 

We did an hour float in a deprivation tank! They have 10 inches of water and hundreds of pounds of salt. The water is body temperature and is so salty that you float effortlessly. It is completely silent and completely dark. It was one of the most incredible meditations I have ever experienced. I lost myself completely. Time lost its meaning and my body faded away into a dream. All I was left with was the ocean's swell of my breath. Bliss!

Sunsets, Pie, And Smiles!
The Oregon desert and Sweedeedee Dessert!
Taking the moment to appreciate where I am at and stay present is what helps me prepare for the trail. My wonderful partner, Amy, is the perfect mirror that reflects the blessings in my life every day! She is encouraging, motivated, thoughtful, organized, and so so so inspiring. I am so incredibly grateful to have her by my side with each adventurous moment of this life!


Cook, dehydrate, measure, pack, vacuum seal... repeat

We have made some serious progress in the last week...

Yummy dinner, lentil tortilla soup!

Seth was home from Tuesday to Monday the 3rd and during that time we got so much done!!! 

*We made all of our breakfast pouches, ALL 105 OF THEM!!
* Almost completed all of our dinner pouches! Seth made homemade pasta sauce that we need to dehydrate along with some meat. Once those are done, we will be able to finish the last few dinners!
* Bought our solar chargers and one extra battery
* Received our sleeping bags (!!!!)
* I bought a new down puffy jacket!
* Bought random things (that sure do add up...) pack towels, food containers, sleeping pad patch kit...

Grain/lentil/pasta base with dehydrated veggies and seasonings... Mostly used Simply Organics seasonings.
Really, the only big things left on our list are:
* Finish dinner pouches
* Receive our tent 
* Buy mosquito nets
* Buy a ground tarp

                                       Bags full of dinner pouches! 

Making beef, chopping it and dehydrating it

We are excited to have all of our gear so we can figure out our base weight. Once again, the PCT class of 2014 Facebook page is making me nervous with the threads that talk about people's base weight being like 8 pounds or something nuts. 

THEN WE ARE DONE!! Or at least we think we are

We must always remember HYOH (HIKE YOUR OWN HIKE) or HOOH (HIKE OUR OWN HIKE)

We Sent in Our PCT Long Distance Permit Requests!!

Our Permit Requests Were Faxed in on Monday, March 3rd!!

This means... WE ARE ONE STEP CLOSER!!
The permit request were super easy and not too expensive, although Seth decided that we must become members of the PCTA, so we made a donation for that. So worth it!! The PCTA works so hard to keep the trail and it's culture alive. YOU can make a donation too!! 

We plan on summiting Mt. Whitney which is the highest summit in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet... wowee!

*not my photo*