Weekend Warriors

It’s almost the end of the week, which for us means we’re gearing up for our next trip. We already have the details nailed down and we’ve started sorting our gear out, gathering up the few pieces that need a quick laundry cycle before we can add them to the packing pile. Once tomorrow comes, we’ll be in full backpacking mode, with everything loaded except for the car. Our adrenaline levels from the excitement of what’s to come will begin setting in.

If you’re unable to tackle something as time consuming as thru-hiking, this is the next best thing. Bailey handles the trail mapping, as that’s what gets her blood pumping. She already has our loop planned and the campsites marked. This is a thrill for her, especially since my sense of direction would have me second guessing myself and leave us both debating why we’ve hiked far too many miles with our stomachs still growling and our sleeping gear still in our backpacks. No thank you!

When you’re held down all week with other obligations, the weekend becomes your sanctuary. I typically spend far too much time researching where to go next, how long it will take to get there, and what time we have to make it there to avoid six hours of night hiking. We have no problem with a bit of trekking in the dark, but would rather avoid searching for a place to set up camp at 3am.

For us, pulling up to a new trailhead we haven’t been to before is like the first time a kid steps inside a Toys R Us (RIP) — we’re filled with the wonder of what we’ll see along the trip. Maybe we’ll even come across the elusive owl that the wife swears she hears on each outing, even though none of those nighttime noises sounded like an owl. The mystery of the sights to come are what drive us to explore new destinations. That first step of the weekend miles, which are sure to pile up, is the one that begins each undiscovered adventure.

Once we enter the forest and leave the parking lot in the dust, any thoughts of the weekend clocks ticking vanish and we might as well be at the beginning of a journey with no end in sight. A single day on the trail can feel like a full week if you allow it to, so we’ll be up at the crack of dawn and stomping down the path to maximize the few days we’re given to disappear in the woods. By the time we reach our final resting place (figuratively speaking) on Saturday, we’ll be ready to wave the white flag and kick our shoes beneath the vestibule.

The hike out on Sunday will be rewarding, as always. We’ll collapse in our car seats, exhausted, high-fiving as if we just saved a baby seal from being clubbed to death. Because despite it being the end of this journey, we know it’s another trail under our belts and one more to start planning out and salivating over for another week.

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