April 29th 2010:
The next morning, after a delicious breakfast of french toast and coffee, we headed out for the last hour and half drive to the GC. We set up camp at site #152 on Juniper Loop then threw together some homemade turkey sandwiches on roasted garlic baguette, gouda and smoked cheddar cheeses, macaroni salad, and chips. I started getting food packed together for the next morning then took a much needed nap curled up cozy in my Western Mountaineering sleeping bag with the front flap of the tent left open for a soothing breeze brushing my face.
We all went to the Marketplace café where we met up with Stephanie and exchanged big long-time-no-see hugs. I had a two piece fried chicken meal with mashed potatoes, pasta salad, and hot tea. The chicken was really dry so I didn’t eat much of that and the pasta salad was pretty gross so that left mostly mashed potatoes and hot tea with a random cheesy breadstick.
After that talk, I decided I didn’t have enough food so went binge shopping at the attached grocery store. I literally just grabbed and stashed, grabbed and stashed. It was almost embarrassing the types (read: total junk food) and quantity of food I had in my basket. Hugs all around and I was heading back to camp to repack, organize my ipod playlists, and try to get some rest.
Repacking was frustrating. I refused to carry a bigger pack than what I had trained with so that meant I had to become strategic in my placement of items. I tried to not skimp on the emergency gear but I knew I needed to pack as much food as I could. Once I got it all packed (I actually had to have Cowboy squeeze the fabric of the pack together as I zippered it up) I threw it on my back to get a sense of weight. Holy bananas. It felt as if an overweight toddler had just climbed onto my back for a horsey ride as my trapezius muscles groaned in utter protest. You have GOT to be kidding I thought. Cowboy reminded me that as the hours passed the pack would become lighter as I ate, which put my mind at some ease. The water will always be heavy, though, I pouted back to him.
I actually fell asleep easily but woke up a few hours later in the dark with terrible jitters in my stomach, a little nauseated, very excited, and yet completely anxious. Cowboy seemed to have sensed my restlessness and rolled over to face me. We laid there in our sleeping bags talking it out. I felt that I had prepared well for this and my training, although lacked in the quantity of really long hours/miles, had been diligent and intense. I was grateful for the added weight and cross training I had done to build up my upper body. I was going to need it for this incredibly heavy pack!
Talking it out helped soothe the circling tiger in my stomach, and I was able to fall peacefully back to sleep until my alarm went off at 0230.