I begin my journey from Denver, CO to San Francisco, CA in twenty-nine days. It hasn’t settled in my brain yet; thoughts of me being alone in the wilderness have been floating around like clouds. There are people that think I am crazy and seriously derailed. That’s ok. I am. However, I believe I am destined down this path, this trail.
Planning has been stressful. I do not know what I would do without Maranatha and Mary dedicating their time to help me configure routing, resources, survival etc. Those women are my angels. Our sisterhood has a certain sting that is without comparison.
We studied all four states looking for red flags, permits needed, harsh conditions and any other useful information for my anxious high. I am so thankful we did. Utah and Nevada are in their fourth year of record-breaking drought so limited water was a consistent issue during our planning. The mileage between resourceful stops is not doable for a novice hiker in the dead of summer. One trick is to drive throughout that part of the trail and bury your water in the desert along the way, prior to your start; this is not feasible for me at the time.
I connected with the state coordinator of Utah and had a life changing conversation with her, she was exactly who I needed to speak with. Then she asks, “Jodi, would you consider cutting out Utah as a whole?” My immediate response was prideful shock and denial. I explained to her that I have been planning to hike across four states while reaching an accomplished trek of a four-digit number of miles. I’ve been set on those two goals and not willing to bend much.
I’ll never forget when she said, “Jodi, I live here and even people that live here do not hike long distance during the heat of the day in the summer months, we just don’t.” It felt like my heart was in my stomach for a good five minutes. She was so understanding and helpful; we began planning my new route.
I will hike the entirety of the trail in Colorado until I reach Utah’s border. When I reach Utah’s border, I will turn around to hike back to Grand Junction, CO. Lane will be meeting Mommy there! From Grand Junction, we will ride the Amtrak throughout the desert and into Reno, NV; we are pumped for the trip. After some rest in Reno, my family will send me out on the last leg of the trail. I will hike from Reno to San Francisco to end my journey. As I mentioned earlier, it’s imperative that I achieve four digits worth of mileage. My heart must have that. I will be in search of side trips in Colorado and California to add to my miles; I have no doubt that I will come across many beautiful opportunities to leave the beaten path.
I admit to feeling “wimpy” when my plans changed; I have been so transfixed on making it through Utah and Nevada. I’ve had to remind myself over and over of the peace that I felt when I spoke with Lynne (Utah Coordinator) that day on the phone. I had to remind my stubborn ass that the new plan provides a fun journey for Lane and I to share together in the middle of my trek. I had to remind myself that I am NOT an invincible camel who can survive days in the desert without water.
Weido assured me that my route change did not make me a wimp, by any means. I believed her and moved on.
Lionhearted means to be exceptionally courageous or brave. In twenty-nine days, I will be removed from the comforts of my territory to start a journey into the unknown. No matter the amount of preparation or planning, I am approaching a summer full of surprises.
Mind be strong.
Steps be courageous.
“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” – C. JoyBell C.