I will be posting about the Northern Cascades Volunteer Vacation with American Hiking Society when I get back.
Mid-week we will have a day off to go day hiking or whatever else we want to do. I haven't decided. There are quite a few trails around. I may go up the valley and try to set foot on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail - west coast equivalent to the AT), or I may try and climb a mountain and see a glacier, or go down the valley to see more of Lake Chelan.
I am very excited to be going! I will miss the girl, and she knows it - but going here was planned before I met her and going to Washington State will be fulfilling dreams I've had for awhile. The amount of pictures I'll be taking is going to be amazing! I can't wait to soak in the beauty. The temperatures seem to be between 50 at night to low 80's during the day - good weather to be working and camping. The people element should also be fun, everyone seems fairly cool from the small amount of interaction I have had, all seem like they are avid hikers - but to belong and volunteer to a group called American Hiking Society, I guess you'd have to have some kind avid interest in it!
I am also looking forward to be trying out nearly my full range of equipment that I want to be taking on the Appalachian Trail. Early this year those were colder weather trips with more gear, also short travel day trips so I added more stuff 'just to be safe' or 'just in case'. This time my pack is slim and without extra items that I probably won't need. Base weight was ~20lbs, which I'm satisfied with. Also there was an abundance of room in the back for food for 5 to 7 days on the AT. I'm really psyched to try out everything! I'm hoping this trip will test my gear, myself, and my readiness.
Besides food (and that entails a LOT of expense - food storage bags, boxes, postage) and all the time and preparation that will go into that I have nearly all the gear I need for the Trail. I would possibly like new hiking poles, a SPOT device, a flip phone, extra memory card, Dirty Girl Gaiters, and a Packa. Oh, and maps! I have the all the ones from Maine and I have a scattering of VA and MD. I need to go through and make a list of maps I have to maps I need. Some hikers don't travel with maps, some will use just the guide book, others just go with it. But planning is fun to me. Pouring over maps is fun to me. I want to mark the maps as I travel for mileage purposes, to relate each day to my journal so I can be fairly certain of where I saw something or where something took place! Also it will be helpful to coordinate where I can meet people and how to get to Trail towns and Post Offices. On that note, I should probably get two sets of maps. One for me and one for the support team...
I have a couple of concepts for DIY modded equipment that I want to try out - I'm not going to even touch on them until I've tried it out - and if it really works then imma patent the ideas, and then sell them to you ;) I've looked around and they don't exist - that doesn't mean they don't. It may also mean they've been thought of but violate the laws of the universe - which won't stop me from trying to do it anyway!
I am off to finish preparations to go West! Have a great few weeks!