these blogs seem to just be about what we are doing, which right now is somewhat exciting, but i’m sure it would be a little more exciting to read a little about what we are thinking as we head into this 5 month journey.  so here’s a little glimpse, we’re thinking, we have so much to do before we leave in a month!!!  our gear is almost done, we just got cassandra a new pack that fits her torso better and i just picked up some used chaco sandals without a toe loop to keep blisters down to a minimum.  our biggest dilemma is about our tarp, its a golite cave 1, which technically is a 1-2 person, but down at the kick off, tradja and bearbait sewed their own tarp and it was almost twice the size of ours.  now this isn’t just gear envy, its one thing to save weight, its another thing to get soaked in a rain storm because the tarp you're under isn’t really meant for two people.  ebay just sold a cave2 for over $160 bucks and we can get the ray way tarp for $55, so obviously my thought is to spend the time sewing one, but cassandra says, what time???

our pre hikes have gone well, no blisters, the gear worked, in general we got along and still love each other, we had plenty of food, so all is good.  we just need to multiply the food by about thirty and pack it in boxes and figure out someone to send them to us.  so as of right now, a little over a month to go, we don’t have any food packed, we have a few boxes of clif bars and granola bars, some pasta and a couple tons of granola.  cassandra has a bunch of bookmarks on the internet with recipes and of course, we listened to dicentra at the kickoff talk about her one pan wonders.  

we’re obviously pretty good at procrastinating and finding other things to do, such as road trips, hangi out with friends, watching pct videos, etc., but know that we have quite a bit of work to do.  i’ve talked to a few people about how i see this journey as a pilgrimage with God, a chance to not be distracted by the every day life and to really listen to Him as we go for a long walk.  there is a difference between doing things for God (such as being in a wilderness ministry the last 10 years) and really being with Him.  i love sharing my faith, but at times i feel like the israelites wandering around in the desert waiting to go to the promised land.  i’ve been lead out of my “egypt” and have been given the manna and been provided for these last 15 years, but i’m still hungry and thirsty for more.  i’m not content with the way things are right now because i’ve tasted more, so i know that there is more out there, God is just letting me work for it so that i don’t take it for granted.  

so i feel like i’ve been being prepped for this trip since i first heard about the pct over a decade ago.  God has been beckoning me to take a walk with Him and i get the joy of having my wife along on the journey.  we have a lot of growing to do and we are trusting that the Holy Spirit as our counselor will teach us through the trail, through others and through that still small voice.

everyone has their own journey that God takes them on, some can learn on a short walk down the street, or on their way to the fridge, it took the apostle paul a trip to damascus, its different for all of us, but we know that He is still working.

i’m trying to get cassandra to write again, so stay tuned for that.

thanks for reading.


Heather Darnell
5/17/2010 08:15:55 am

Hi, Jason and Cassandra! I have been following your blog and am so excited for you!
16 years ago I got to hike up Mt Whitney and back, and later learned about "the rest of the trail!" Now I live in Washington State, and am hoping to finally start beginning my own trek.
I will not be a through-hiker, not soon, anyway, but will do a series of hikes over the months and probably years.
I am nearly 50, so hope to get going on this before any MORE health issues arise!
As you have specific prayer requests, I'd be honored to join you in prayer.
Our church (Warm Beach Community Church, in Stanwood, WA) holds a prayer session every Saturday night.
Thanks for your posts - i'd love to ask a bazillion questions if Cassandra feels like answering!

5/17/2010 01:59:21 pm

Hi Heather!

Thanks so much for writing to us! It's so great to hear of your enthusiasm and excitement for hiking, but as well that we're brothers and sisters in the Lord...your prayers mean so much to us.

I would love to try and answer any questions you had, so feel free to post them!

We're getting more and more excited about our journey as the last month goes flying by-please join us in praying about our relationship as we near the start date. It always seems like when a good thing is on the horizon, our relationship seems to be tested with greater intensity and it can be easy to lose sight of our goal-being united in Christ on this adventure. So for strength and with eyes on our Lord...

Thank you Heather-hope to chat with you again,

Heather Darnell
5/18/2010 03:20:22 am

Thanks, Cassandra!
1) What are chaco sandals? I guess you would wear them with socks? But what about snow and wet?
2) How do you handle waterproofing. I wore stretch pants, with rainpants over them, and a wind/rain jacket over my shirt and sweater.
3) How will you keep your sleeping quilt dry? Did you end up using the zipper?
4) How many changes of cloting will you each have - socks, undergarments, tee shirts? And will you have an extra pair of shoews?
5) Toothpaste? or just floss? Shampoo?
Some of these must be so obvious, but I onle went for a weekend, and I want to be able to go longer.
6) then also femaly hygiene questions - kind of embarassing to ask, I just don't know how to handle some of those issues - where would I find information?!

ANyway, I was so glad you guys got another post up, and thanks for answering!!

5/18/2010 05:50:07 am

I'm glad you wrote back Heather! Here's what I have to say to your questions:

1. Chacos are just simply a brand of sandals that are out there. In the outdoor ministry that we work for, where we're very often rafting, rock-climbing, back-packing, etc. almost everyone has a pair because they're so versatile as to what activities you can wear them for, and in general they're very comfortable and durable. Some people can even climb in them because of the soles they're made of! Jason and I enjoy hiking in them for several reasons: Neither one of us get blisters from them, when it's hot, it's so nice not to have socks and close-toed shoes on, we can tromp through water with no problem, and the foot bed is comfortable to us. You could wear them with socks, but we only do that at night when we're not hiking anymore. On our last hike, I poked my toe with a stick, which didn't feel very good, but I know that's a risk that I take. And the benefits outweigh that risk. I don't like to wear them on snow, because in general, my body's circulation is fairly poor and my feet get cold quickly. Although Jason has worn them on snow, they're really best for milder weather. In general though, some people enjoy hiking with them, but really many people do not...

5/18/2010 05:54:05 am

2. What you do for waterproofing is pretty much what we do! One extra thing that we enjoy a lot are GoLite umbrellas. When it's raining, there's nothing more luxurious than having something over you that shelters your face. There's just something about it that makes it much more tolerable. And we don't mind carrying it like some people do. It can also work as shade when it's hot and sunny, and as a way to block out rain in an opening if you use a tarp as a shelter, like we do (also from GoLite)

5/18/2010 05:59:11 am

3. We did end up using the zipper on our quilt and we each have a waterproof stuff sack for our half. In addition to the stuff sack, we've purchased heavy-duty garbage bags from Home Depot that we can use to line our backpacks if necessary. They work so well, and can be replaced easily. Our tarp will hopefully keep us dry at night, but the quilt is also made from a synthetic filling, so even when wet it retains some heat-The next day, if it's nice, we can drape our halves on our pack and let them dry out!

5/18/2010 06:09:04 am

4. My clothing system will be a bra (or tank top with a shelf bra, I haven't decided yet...Stay away from skinny straps though. They dig into your skin from the weight of your backpack. I want to experiment with a halter-strap tank-top. No strap over the shoulders would be the best!) long-sleeve lighter-weight top, fleece long-sleeve, wind-proof zip-up, beefy down jacket (I get cold easily) and waterproof light-weight jacket. For my bottoms I'll have two pairs of Exofficio underwear (I may reduce to one pair when I get out there, we'll see. They're really easy to wash and dry fairly quickly. But they're not that heavy either) A skort (my favorite) fleece pants, wind pants, and waterproof pants. I'll take two pairs of dress socks (those really thin ones) and one pair of thicker-weight socks. I have multiple pairs of shoes in my arsenal that I can have sent to me when necessary. For this hike we have about five different kinds of shoes to use. They're worth the investment!

5/18/2010 07:05:36 am

5. I haven't really decided how I'm going to go about mouth-care...Usually when I go on shorter hikes, I forego the toothbrush and all that goes along with it. But that's just for a short time-On this trip it's so different! I like brushing twice-a-day and flossing and using mouthwash at night so I definitely will not be able to tolerate an unclean mouth for too long. I most likely will bring a smaller amount of floss, and then a travel-sized container of toothpaste for the two of us, and then maybe a shortened toothbrush. I can cut the handle off of one I already have. We're bringing Camp Suds (an all-purpose biodegradable soap) which can be used for dishes, bodywash/shampoo, laundry detergent...I don't particularly like using it as shampoo because I don't think it actually cleans my hair that well, but I expect to have shampoo when we stay at motels here and there, so I can get by. Braids are a girl's best-friend out there!

5/18/2010 07:23:33 am

6. Such a great topic! There is nothing I like more than backpacking and being clean all at the same time! Here's where the Camp Suds will come into play. I'm not that affected by having to use cold water from streams or lakes, so I will have my occasional sponge-bath on the trail to keep myself clean. I have this really tiny lightweight pack-towel that I'll use for a wash cloth, and then I'll just fill up a water container, move away from the water source, and then go ahead and sponge bathe. Then I can just strap that cloth onto my backpack and allow it to dry as I hike. Reloading water may be necessary, and potentially standing there naked might be too, so make sure you have some privacy!

I have currently invested in a Diva Cup to take care of my period issues. No tampons or pads for me anymore. This cup will catch everything and all I have to do is empty it in a hole and wash it. I'm very excited about garbage to carry with me.

Jason and I carry little bags that we put our used toilet paper in, and then throw them out when we can. In the past I've carried moist toilettes that they make specifically for "quick refreshers" and I've enjoyed them so much! I don't think I'll carry them with me this time but they are really great!

Did I get everything? All of these things I've just learned along the way and can't think of a good source to go to for more suggestions. I bet if you do a search online though, you'll find a plethora of information!

Yay, so fun :) All of this is making me even more excited to get out there!

Cheers Heather!

5/22/2010 05:56:35 am

Just caught up on all your blogs. Jboy & my sista C! I'm just so proud of you guys, inspired by you guys and EXPECTANT for your journey out there together and individually with God. I love that you are inviting and excited for the Holy Spirit to counsel and walk with you each step of the way.
I keep reading about listening in the Bible lately. Read Psalm 81:10-16 if you part it sounds like God is even begging, "If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies...with honey from the rock I would satisfy you." I just wonder how often God is ready to speak to me, ready to give good gifts, if I would but listen. If I would but hear him, walk with him.
I love your guys' heart to listen during your "long walk". Literally walking with the Lord.
Love it. Can't wait to "walk with you" by continuing to read your blog. I love you guys. See you SOON!


Your comment will be posted after it is approved.

Leave a Reply.