Monday, September 7, 2015

New York II

Almost two weeks in.


I'm flying to Portland in a day and a half.
I'm not yet sure how New York has been for me.

Maybe New York was good for addressing loneliness before I become really lonely on the PCT.

Loneliness in urban chaos like New York can be sad.
Loneliness when in the wilderness, I hope, can become serenity.

Sometimes I wake with a start in the middle of the night because I've been stricken with different fears about the hike: Maybe my pack will be too heavy, maybe I forgot to buy some crucial hiking gear. And then I lay awake and again my mind is a maze of anxiety.


But now I'm a little bit at ease. I have two more days in New York City and decided that they will be brighter. Today I'm meeting friend and cousin Yael, and hopefully after that I'll meet sister-in-law Kim. And I feel lighter. Maybe because the annoying intervention of my aunt in the upcoming trek has come to a final point; she bought a SPOT machine (connected to satellite and follows my tracks) for me to take on the trail, and I know that this will suffice her desire for involvement, because there's no more for her to do. So I am a little calm and a little less agitated. From this point on, I can be free.

I am looking forward to the trek and terrified of it. I don't really know what to expect.

I will be with Dominica in Portland and then with Bob and Cameron on the trail. Bob will be my family and friends during the 32 days together on the trail.
I just hope I'll keep up with his pace and that he won't get sick of me. After all, I'm not THAT interesting. I'm pretty much just a mess of scattered emotions and choppy thoughts. Will there be anything at all for me to share with him that will interest him?


I'm almost completely ready for the trail. All my gear is shoved into my 55 (+15) litre backpack (well, I can't say mine because it's actually a friend's. But, well, in any case nothing in the world is mine, and also everything is).

Most of the stuff I won't need on the trail I'm shipping off in a box to my brother in California. Clothes I'll need in Portland but not on the trail I'll send to him right before I start the trail in two weeks.

I've got a sleeping bag, tent, sleeping mat, (vegan) North Face hiking shoes, water "bladder" and water bottle, compass, trekking poles (I got at Kmart. As opposed to the other things which came from REI), rain clothes, hiking pants, two shirts and an extra pair of pants, sun hat, winter hat, gloves, first aid, small tools, hygiene, camping food which comprises of bags of mixed nuts and dried fruits, cheerios and powdered soy milk, instant oatmeal, lots of energy bars, crackers, and AlpineAire quick-cooking meals of rice and lentils or black beans for my dinners. Each of those dinner meals has about 600 calories and 22 grams of protein. My daily caloric intake will be around 3,000. I also have my hiking permit from the PCT association. Bug repellent. Camera. Solar phone charger. And a number of other small things I forgot to mention.

I still need printed maps, another litre of water, halva snacks, a whistle to scare off bears or cougars, and some batteries. Oh, and international and local postage stamps, if I decide to send off a postcard from somewhere along the way.


"The Bakery" (Long Sing Bakery) is a bakery here around the corner that my uncle spends a lot of time in. The woman who owns the bakery with her husband cooks meals and serves my uncle coffee or tea while he sits there and works on his laptop.

So I've been there a few times, and they have soy milk for coffee.
And they can make tofu with vegetables and rice or noodles, which I've eaten when we sit there for dinner. It's not the best, but it's good enough for me. I'm not picky.


Today was a good day. I met up with Yael and then with Kim, and with both I had a great time.
And then UJ and I spent time at the Bakery, talking and laughing.

I feel a little bit stronger.
I think everything will be okay on the trail.

32 days
Starting in two weeks.

But first- Portland.
Hippies, vegans, and a little less noise.


Some photos
(And if there's something nice about New York it's the parks):

 On the Staten Island ferry with Ariella
 With Ariella
 In Prospect park with UJ
Testing the tent
 Another vegan restaurant :)

At home, pasta with coconut cream-mushroom sauce 
and some really yummy green veggie
 Drawing at Sunset Park
In the Bakery
 Another vegan restaurant... With word bubble by UJ
 Food for the trail from Costco...
Starting to pack up the resupply packages
(Disclaimer: The "Madras Lentils" aren't vegan in the end.
Returning them.)

 ...Spooning out the right amount into bags for each day

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