Looks like I’ve finally found something that is going to pull me away from Yellowstone National Park’s summer. I’ve been working at Lake Lodge for the previous six summers. It’s been my last summer in Yellowstone for the past four years. This is usually the time of year when I am repacking all my things to return back to the park for another long summer season. I have been packing, but not for Yellowstone. I’m packing much, much lighter. Just one bag, weighing in at roughly 25 pounds. Minus food and water, and a few spare pairs of shoes, I’ve got everything in that bag that I’ll need for the next nine months!
Although I’ve been planning this trek for the past two years, it hadn’t hit me harder than when it did this winter, as all the other Yellowstone Snow Lodge employees started turning in their summer job applications. I was one of the few that was not. A few weeks later, those same employees, were all talking about what new location in the park they would be working at. Some with new exciting jobs. Some getting a promotion from the last summer. Some happy to hear they’ll be coming to the park early for management training in early April. That was my typical summer agreement for employment. BE AT GARDINER HUMAN RESOURCES TO CHECK-IN ON APRIL 11, 2010. Not me. Not this summer. I will be unemployed.
In the next two weeks, I’ll be standing on the Mexican boarder in southern California looking north. After 2663.5 trail miles, at the Canadian boarder in northern Washington, I’ll be looking to catch various forms of transportation to Baxter State Park in Maine. Once I’m there, I hike south for 2179.1 miles to Springer Mountain in north Georgia. Seventeen states, nine months, countless blisters and amazing stories to come, and 4843 miles. Unemployed, may be the wrong word to use. I’ll have plenty of work to do.
My hopes are to keep you up to date with my progress, stories, and day-to-day life on the trail by using this blog for the next nine months. I obviously won’t be carrying my laptop with me, nor will I be anywhere’s close to internet services during most of this trek. So, I plan on keeping a journal and log of my travels with pen and paper, and sending it home to the family in Georgia when I can get to a post office about once a week. So, after I leave Atlanta on the 8th of April, I won’t be doing the updating as often on this blog. It will be up to my family to relay the news as they feel to you. Pictures and even video will be taken along both trails to document through my eyes, and I will get those posted as well when ever I get the chance. Which I will, every month or so, get a hotel room with a hot shower and bed to sleep in and hopefully a computer and internet to use, to personally keep you up to date.
If I have your e-mail address, you will be able to keep track of me on the trail everyday. I will be carrying a SPOT. If you read backpacker magazine or have been in an REI type store lately you may have seen one of these devices. SPOT is a satellite tracking device that allows me to push a button, and within minutes send an e-mail to you with a link to google-maps with my exact location pin-pointed. I already have a few handfuls of your email addresses that will be lumped into a mass email list and forwarded by my family to you everyday. If you’d like to be apart of this daily update via SPOT and my family just email me at email@example.com with PCT/AT as the subject and your name in the entry before April 8th. After April 8th? Send the same email to my family at firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll be added to daily update. Tomorrow I’ll have more information about the two trails, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail, along with some of my preparation and planning. Feel free to comment or ask any questions by clicking on the comment button at the bottom of the posts. Thanks for taking the time and interest. Happy Trails!