So, I looked at my stepdad's photos and that made me want to climb a 3500 foot high Pass... well, not quite. A little history on my decision:
I've always loved history, and after a family trip to the Yukon, it was just natural that I became interested in the Klondike days. I read lots of first person accounts, dressed as a 'Klondike girl' for Hallowe'en, chose the Yukon as the location for the fictional town we had to create in grade seven (and named it after the last name of my favourite actor at the time which I won't admit to except to say 'muh teef'), I had a romantic notion of moving to the Yukon and owning a dog sled team, and I began my life long love with Robert Service's poetry (we had a bonus assignment in grade five to memorize The Cremation of Sam McGee and I was the only person who did it). My love of that region and that time in history just added to this desire to do the Chilkoot Trail.
My decision to get into shape occurred after I returned from living in Africa in 2007. I wanted to return to Tanzania and be fit enough to climb Mount Meru, the mountain I had looked at every day. I wanted to summit and watch the sun rise over Kilimanjaro but there was no way that was going to happen in my current condition. It was all fine and dandy to say 'I want to be in shape for when...' but with plans to return to school and a plane ticket which costs almost the same as a semester at UVic, this probably won't be a feasible goal for at least five years (unless someone reading this wants to contribute to the 'Send Andrea Back to Africa' fund) and I needed a goal with a feasible completion date.
I sat in bed about a week ago, reading The Best of Robert Service (you may notice he pops up a lot in this blog), I remembered the Chilkoot Trail and a decision was made. I played around with a few ideas as to time lines for completing this goal before deciding on this one: I will do the Juan de Fuca Trail in 2010, I will do the West Coast Trail in 2011 and then (imagine some fanfare) the Chilkoot Trail in 2012. And there you have it, my feasible completion date!