Oct 292014


“Planning is half the fun”, we hear. And it IS! But I implore you to understand that you really are doing it just for the fun of it. About one week in, most people’s “plans” are already ridiculous. Here’s the top 100 factors that make it that way:

  1. Blisters
  2. Gear failures
  3. Bus/shuttle schedules
  4. Post office hours
  5. New trail romance
  6. Ending trail romance
  7. Ability to tolerate oats
  8. Money
  9. Holidays in small towns
  10. Snow
  11. Your mother
  12. Existential crisis
  13. Injuries
  14. Getting lost
  15. Insufficient rain gear
  16. Fires
  17. Dental emergencies
  18. Death in the family
  19. Bill collector finding you
  20. Irresistible side trips
  21. Missing someone
  22. Family or friends joining you for a section
  23. Music festivals
  24. Trail closures
  25. Trying to keep up with or “catch” your peeps
  26. Trying to lose or “ditch” your peeps
  27. Weddings
  28. Good beer in great trail towns
  29. What your friends are doing
  30. Extraordinary heat
  31. Running out of food
  32. Your kids having needs
  33. Knee/ankle/leg/foot issues
  34. Becoming sick
  35. Becoming pregnant
  36. Government shutdowns
  37. Hot springs
  38. The imaginary “weather window” proving incorrect
  39. Stehekin
  40. General Delivery
  41. Painful break-up
  42. Losing stuff
  43. Job offers
  44. Being too pack heavy
  45. Being too ultra-light
  46. Ultimatums from spouse/hiking partner/parents
  47. Food preferences
  48. Discovering you can hike 40-mile days
  49. Discovering you can only hike 15-mile days
  50. Giardia
  51. A “need” to see the ocean
  52. Need to replace lost/stolen ID or debit card
  53. Developed “bearanoia” leading you to decide to camp only where there’s bear boxes
  54. No luck hitchhiking
  55. Met new best friends hitchhiking
  56. Trail magic
  57. Trail angel houses
  58. Alternates
  59. Celestial events you reroute for to get best view
  60. Rushing up ahead to meet people who write funny stuff in trail registers
  61. 4th of July
  62. Offers for REI runs
  63. Crowded campsites or no campsites
  64. Dry water sources
  65. Irrepressible passion to summit everything
  66. Trail Association events
  67. Lost mail
  68. Deciding not to go back to school
  69. Deciding to go to school
  70. Missing your dog
  71. Having someone bring you your dog for a section
  72. Exhaustion
  73. High creek crossings
  74. Early bail-outs
  75. Helping someone who needs it
  76. Storms
  77. Booked hotels/campgrounds in trail towns
  78. Not enjoying yourself
  79. Skipping
  80. Magical places you can’t rush through/leave
  81. Deciding to move to a trail town
  82. All you can eat buffets
  83. House troubles
  84. Need to replace glasses/contacts
  85. Helping out at trail angel camps
  86. Drinking too much
  87. Eating too much
  88. 43 degrees and raining first thing in the morning
  89. Poisonous plant reaction
  90. Slowing down/speeding up to get away from the “herd”
  91. Losing too much weight
  92. Changing gear preferences
  93. Needing prescriptions
  94. Loneliness issues
  95. Need to wait for new shoes
  96. Someone stalking you
  97. Menstruation
  98. Bank account/tax/paycheck/bills issues
  99. Becoming fitter faster than you thought
  100. Desire to not have a plan you thought up in your living room one day

Just GO!! I promise it will be nothing like you think it will.

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