Its been a tough week in this preparation process: lots of obstacles, many of my own making. First of all, I got the worst blister I have had since the beginning (which I could have prevented had I been more attuned to what was happening with my foot) which made one evening walk home (for about 1 & 1/2 hours) a real torture. But it has also meant that I have had to back off walking for several days & then only did a comparatively short walk yesterday because it was still tender & I really need it to heal fully. But it certainly reminded me of how easily the trip can get screwed up by a small injury & how crucial it is to STOP immediately & tend to any hot spots on one's feet.
(anyone completely uninterested in technology might want to skip this part) The next obstacle might have been expected as well: that dealing with new technology always takes about 30x the time anticipated. I am loving my new iPad, but it turns out that my camera does not work with the "camera connection kit" provided by Apple because it uses a compact flash card which is not an SD card & doesn't fit the converter. In addition, I have a comparatively old DSLR (Canon 20D) and it does not allow for downloading photos by cable directly from the camera. So, to put it simply, I FREAKED OUT!!! I went to the photo shop & they provided me with a card reader that could be connected to the Apple kit, but that did not work because it "takes too much power" and there is only one power outlet on the iPad. I would still be able to take my camera, but would have nowhere to either store or view my photos (& would need a bunch more memory cards) & THIS WAS THE WHOLE REASON I BOUGHT THE IPAD!!! not feeling too good, making panicky calls to Apple and to my brother who just returned from europe using his iPad, but no help was available. I then I discovered that the "gigavu" hard-drive that I have used in the past to store photos when I travel will no longer work with my current operating system. shit. finally i tried using my "backup" camera (most basic Canon DSLR, the Rebel) and THANK GOD IT WORKED! This is exactly why I am so edgy about packing & getting all my equipment ready weeks in advance--something always fails to work as expected & I don't want to be halfway across the world with all my electronics, but discover that I am missing the adapter (for example). So, my preferred way to handle this would be to take my usual (and much loved) camera & then bring the Rebel just for downloading images. But that leads me to my next difficulty: TOO MUCH STUFF!
When I put all the stuff I intended to take in my pack, it simply weighs too much--closer to 20 lbs than the 15 lbs I had conceded to myself I would take as opposed to the recommended 12 lbs (are there people who can really take all they need for 3 weeks including backpack & sleeping bag and stay under 12 pounds?!). So over the next week I am going to weigh EVERYTHING and decide what I can do without (and I am not taking much, but clearly need to take even less). Turns out 15 lbs is very little, especially if one wants to take any electronic stuff. But I would prefer to leave clothing & food behind rather than my camera. So, I have a bunch of decisions to make. I thought about not showering, but.... I can see why they say that the pack one carries on this trip represents the material possessions that weigh one down in life. I am now off to REI to check with them how my backpack, filled to the brim, fits so that I don't encounter preventable problems in that arena.