Monday, April 27, 2009

The devil is in the (hiking) details

The fundraising is complete. We're in good physical shape. And we've finally figured out our travel itinerary.
Kelly and I will head up to the Grand Canyon next Friday in my car. We'll eat pasta at the kick off dinner and then sleep for a few precious hours before we hit the Bright Angel trail at 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, the Mikes will head up to the Canyon on Saturday morning. They'll grab some lunch and check out some views as they wait for us to drag ourselves up the last few yards.
We'll all meet up and drive down to Flagstaff, where I plan on taking the best nap of my life before heading out for a celebratory dinner.
We'll stay the night, hit the Downtown Diner for breakfast on Sunday, check out my favorite candle store, and then head back down to Phoenix.
Now that all the major details are complete, and the big hike is only 12 days away, it's time to start focusing on the little things.
Such as socks.What socks does one wear when hiking more than a dozen miles? I have a coupon for 20 percent off any althetic sock from Dick's. Should I get one really good pair of $15 hardcore hiking socks? Who spends $15 on socks?!
Or, should I buy a pack of "moisture wicking" cotton/bamboo blend socks from Sam's Club? Those are only $8, and I'd get four pairs. But cotton is supposedly bad for hiking, even when mixed with bamboo. And do I really want to find out that I should have spent the extra $7 when I'm six miles deep in the Canyon?
(At this point in the conversation, my husband sighs and says, "Just get a good pair of socks, Meg. It's a long hike. You need good socks. Get good socks."
Ok. I have to think about it some more.
Then there is the topic of layers.
It is cold at the Canyon right now. At 10 p.m. last night, the local news weather lady said it was in the low 30s there. This was the same day I hiked in a tank top and shorts in Phoenix, and thought it was a bit too hot.
I don't even know how to comprehend hiking in 30-degree weather. And to complicate things, it's only cold at the top. As you go down into the Canyon, it gets warmer. And, I suppose, as we hike, we'll start to work up a sweat ... or will it be so cold that we won't work up a sweat?
Just in case, I'm thinking I might need a moisture-wicking shirt for my first layer. This is supposed to be essential for long hikes, so that you don't sweat and then stay damp for the whole thing.

I've personally never owned anything that "wicks" moisture. I just throw on a t-shirt or tank top and call it a day. So do I really need this? My coach seems to think I do, and again, do I want to find out he was right and I was wrong halfway through?
(This is where Mike rolls his eyes and says, "Babe. Just buy the $10 moisture-wicking shirt from Target. Ok?)
Ok, ok. Moisture-wicking tank top. Check. Then a long-sleeve t-shirt? Then maybe my Team in Training jersey shirt? Then something else ... maybe a hoodie? Top it off with a fleece?
Will all of that be warm enough for 30 degrees? Will my movement be too restricted by so many layers of clothing? Will my pack quickly fill up with all these layers as I work up a sweat and start yanking them off?
Am I overthinking this?
Then there is the debate over the type and quantity of snacks we should bring...
A fresh batch of macaroons (and my eternal gratitude) will go to the person who saves me from my misery and packs for me!

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