A Wisconsin Weekend and the Final Countdown

Time is evaporating and my trek is nearly here! Just about one month to go. Crazy. Crazy. Crazy.

It’s surreal wrapping up my Quad City life…actually saying goodbye to places and people, not knowing when I’ll see them again. I’ve been working through my “farewell tour,” making sure to hit those favorite, sentimental spots I love. Augie’s campus, various coffee shops, parks, etc. It’s been a sweet reflection of the roots I’ve grown over the last 4+ years. I’m looking forward to those new views, but I’m sure I’ll revisit these memories as I walk, and walk, and walk…

Taking a quick break at the edge of the bluff. It was a pretty perfect day to hike.

I squeezed in one last camping trip with the adventure-bug friends. It was a great visit to Devil’s Lake State Park, and the perfect excuse to practice using my PCT gear. I acted as the resident pack mule and carried about 25 lbs worth of food on our hike (the perrrfect amount to train with for the day). The pack felt good and fit well; I’m still learning the nuances of adjusting and packing it perfectly, but it’s light and simple. No blisters on my feet or sore spots from my pack which is a good sign!

Before shot of my rehydrated lunch. Quick cook quinoa, dehydrated mushrooms, leeks, and squash, and steak seasoning. Looks a little scary, but it was pretty delicious!

In an effort to try stoveless meals, I conducted a food-rehydration experiment. I added water to some quick-cook quinoa, dehydrated veggies, and some seasonings… shook it all up in a recycled peanut butter jar, and after a few hours had a pretty decent quinoa salad! Exact amounts of all the ingredients will be modified, but it was  successful overall!

I’m feeling fairly confident in my abilities (at least for the first sections), and know that I’ll only get more comfortable and confident as I hike and start tallying miles. Practice makes perfect (ish). Looking forward to a couple more weeks of “normal” life, and couple more amazing hangouts with friends before moving, packing, and flying to California!

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