I had a blog written and all ready to post when my internet connection went down, in the interim I had a family dinner and, bam, I have a whole new blog entry.
I didn't quite make my goal of hitting the gym twice this week, mostly thanks to my short term memory issues which left my sports bra at home on Friday. So close! On the upside, I knew that going into this breakfast was going to be an issue. See, I'm not a morning person which really doesn't gel well with the fact that I voluntarily start work at 7:30am (but I get off at 4:00pm, who wouldn't take that option?). I always have good intentions when it comes to getting a bite to eat before I head out the door but more often than not it ends up that I pick up some snack-type breakfast item when I stop for my coffee. Not the healthiest option for my midriff or my wallet. Knowing that this was going to be the hardest meal for me to keep on track with, I bought myself a bowl from the dollar store and then stocked my desk with some instant oatmeal options for those mornings I decide to hit the snooze button just one... more... time. Yeah planning! I have also successfully integrated making my own coffee/tea back into my morning routine giving me that much more time before I have to leave for work.
My mom and stepdad were away when I officially started this blog, but upon their return I directed their attention to it and the response has been very positive. I knew that my family would support me in anyway they could, they've supported every other crazy idea I've had (even if they didn't necessarily agree with it), but I had the added bonus of my stepdad wanting to join me on the Juan de Fuca next year and the Chilkoot as well. I had a few people in mind of possible partners on these endeavors, some I've talked to about it, some who've yet to learn what I plan to rope them into (none of whom know about this blog yet), but I don't know anyone with as much hiking experience as my stepdad so he would definitely be a welcome addition to any of the expeditions. My mom supported me in her way by taping a picture of me to my stepdad's Chilkoot photo collage. It's the little things like that which make me smile and spur me on to make this a reality.
The family dinner was because all my stepsiblings and their assorted offspring were in town. I enjoy getting to see them as it doesn't happen very often. They never really lived with us when I was young and the holiday times when they'd come over, I'd usually be at my own dad's. Being a good six years younger than the youngest of them, by the time I was cool enough to hang out with (read=they could take me somewhere other than a G rated movie) they were off living their own lives. I was chastised one day at work when I mentioned I had nieces and a nephew but then failed to name all five, so I love having the opportunity to get to know both the stepsiblings and my nieces and nephew. During the course of the evening, my stepbrother (we'll call him JB) and I started to discuss my plan and he added to it. JB's been living in the Lower Mainland for a number of years now and has been wanting to hike Golden Ears Trail (feel free to hum a James Bond theme at this point, I've been doing that all afternoon/evening when I hear/say/read that name), a two day trek to the top of the north 'Ear'. By the end of the evening we had decided we were going to do it together next summer. (We also decided that my older brother would join us, but we've yet to actually tell him that.) The more backwoods hiking experience I can get under my belt, the more confidence I'll have when I look up the (now missing) Golden Staircase to the Chilkoot Pass and think "oh crap, what have I gotten myself into?"
I realise that three years from now, although close in the general scheme of life, is quite aways off. I might not make it to the Chilkoot Trail, and not for lack of want, desire or drive, but because sometimes life leans forward from its backseat and quietly whispers 'no' into your ear and there may be nothing you can do about it when that happens. The Chilkoot is a route marker that I have stuck in my life map, a physical goal I can share with everyone I meet. "I am going to do this." Ultimately, this isn't just about climbing the Pass, it's about moving closer to being the person I want to be for the rest of my life. And at some point--in three years if life lets me keep my plans--that will be a person who has hiked the Chilkoot Trail.