I’m vacillating between being nervous, excited and scared about my upcoming trip. My back is feeling pretty good, but my legs are absurdly sore this week. I’ve got most everything that I want to pack out and weighed and ready to go, if not packed. Fresh batteries in the headlamp, charging batteries for the camera – I even contacted the Idaho BLM to see if they had anything to tell me about current trail conditions.
I checked out the Idaho Centennial Trail guidebook from the library, but it was a bit disappointing. For one thing, it was published in 1998. I know the guidebook my husband and I used for the Chamberlain Basin hike last year was out of date and it was only 10 years old. So I didn’t hold out high hopes for accurate information, but the format of the book itself was also disappointing. I didn’t find the descriptions of the trail sections to be clear and the author keeps inserting side trips, saying that hikers and horseback riders should take this shortcut to cut off miles and the trail goes this way, unless you want to take that way. So I’m glad I checked it out rather than buying it.
There’s one last food item that should be reaching my doorstep some time tomorrow – coffee. My initial plan was to go without coffee, but then I’d have to wean myself off of it before I headed out and I’m just not ready to do that right now. I’m one of those people who get awful caffeine withdrawal headaches, so I can’t just quit cold turkey. And even though the powerbar chews that I’ll be bringing have “1xcaffeine” that is just not enough to make up for a cup a day habit. So I’m going to try Stok Cold Brew Coffee Shots. I was going to buy some at a local grocery store that the Stok website insisted they were stocked at, but that was a no go. I scoured the coffee aisle and finally went to customer service, where they proceeded to tell me to go back to the coffee aisle and wait for someone to come and “help” me look for it. I waited more than 6 minutes before giving up on this mythical help person and giving my business to Amazon instead. I was actually kind of shocked that a large chain grocery store couldn’t even look up an inventory on a computer to determine whether they carried an item – I can understand not being able to say for sure that the item was in stock on the shelf based on a computer, but surely they could tell me whether it was carried.
So, I hope that coffee works as a backpacking coffee. There are cold brew coffees that you can buy in large bottles and I found those in a (different) grocery store, but they are supposed to be refrigerated after opening, so they aren’t ideal for backpacking where the temperature is variable. For this trip, maybe the temp will stay cold enough for such an endeavor, but I can’t guarantee that. So single shots I want and single shots I shall try.
I also need to print off my topo maps. I’m going to take the ICT maps, which are a little less detailed, and pair them with printable quad corners from National Geographic’s website. I’ll also have a GPS, though I won’t be able to keep it on all the time. I’m overall feeling confident that I’ll be able to navigate the trail. My main worry is whether my legs will be able to take doing 20 miles a day for 5 days. With the back issue, I did not get as much of a chance to practice long haul days as I planned.
So I’m going out with a goal and determination and no guarantee of success. I’m going to take it one day at a time and do my best. I’ll make it as far as I make it. Anything I don’t complete this year can be attempted at a later date. Hiking the whole of the ICT in segments will take time.
But I hope I make it 100.7 miles this year.