On Tuesday, just 36 hours away, Peter and Donna will pick me up for our 31 day hike on the John Muir Trail. But the hike really started years ago, when Leisyka and I dreamed of going, then invited Donna to join. It started when Donna agreed to go and became our trip leader in itinerary planning and answering all-questions-gear-and-food related.

It started here when I began hauling heavier packs all around my neighborhood and bouncing up and down my harbor steps with Lauren Hill in my ear.

It started here when I began dehydrating most of the food I will eat in those 5 weeks.

It started here as I weighed all my existing gear and got some new stuff to lighten the load.

It started here when I spent two straight days packaging and organizing my food into 15 one-gallon ziplock bags.

It started here when I went to Donnas to pack our resupply boxes and double check our food inventories to be sure we had captured everything, then headed to the post office with a “phew!” to get that shipment in the mail to 3 backcountry ranches and a mule packer who will meet us at Big Sandy Flat where the Kearsarge trail meets the JMT.

In the next day I’ll be wrapping up a few last minute packing things, and lots of other tasks to set life in order before I leave. I am reflecting with a grateful heart for a few folks who really helped me get myself ready for this. Donna Thomas, of course, and Martha Jordan (rolfer), Maya Lev (yoga guru),? Jocelyn Dubin (nutritionist), and Shelly and Nick at Downworks.

Be sure to get outside in July, sometime around dusk. Watch the colors change on whatever surfaces are around you. Send a quiet evening thought my way, because chances are, I’ll be looking at the same sunlight up there and thinking about you, too.