Well today is one of the first days I have had completely off with nothing to do besides pack my personal gear. I am glad I have had a good amount of practice packing for extended backcountry trips, yet I still inevitably end up feeling like I'm forgetting something and bringing too much of something else. Preparing for the Alaskan backcountry is different than the camping I have done before. You don't need a flashlight because this is "The Land of The Midnight Sun". Instead you need something to shield your eyes from the sun at night and most unusual of all for me is the shotgun.
The nice thing about not backpacking is that I can bring a bunch of books and not worry to much about the weight. I will also be bringing waist high boots, knee high boots, full size heavy hiking boots, and a pair of tennis shoes for around camp. Thats a lot of pairs of shoes but I am pretty sure i will want every pair. I am very excited to bring my new little Johnson Travel Guitar with us. Tim, the man I will be out there with, has been playing fingerpicking style blues guitar for 24 years and he said he would give me some impromptu lessons... he might even bring his Ukelele to play with. I don't think I will be spending to much time bored if we are forced to ride out a few storm days sitting around in camp.
I always get anxious packing up my personal gear and then having to wait out the next couple days anticipating departure. It is a bit more magnified right now because we have the extra Memorial Day Monday off and I will be leaving early in the morning on Tuesday. That extra days worth of waiting time seems much longer than the usual 24 hour day. I have been so busy recently that I am spending way to much of this "time off" thinking about EVERYTHING. I don't mean to portray my feelings as worries because they actually come from a place of pure excitement and it is the length of anticipation that I find so difficult to bear.
Oh... but once I am on that plane and on my way out to reality... out to live in the moment... lost from the complications that we make for ourselves in our lives... that is when everything falls away. That is when I feel truly free to be content. That is when I am best able to view my life and the course it is taking from a perspective of contemplation without the biases that are normally so inherent with internal reflection. I look forward to learning a lot about Alaska, the wildlife and hopefully myself.