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Working with our gear...preparing.

Our preparation room...

We continue to prepare for our upcoming hike. The holidays are over and we suspended some of the preparation and focus of the hike while attending to those activities.

This is our 'office' room; which doubles as a spare bedroom. This is where we have stored all the incoming gear that we have been buying. We have slowly been deciding about what we think we will be using and what we may not. We have replaced water reservoirs, a couple times now, and have recently downgraded from full hiking boots to hiking shoes, which are more like running shoes, so are lighter weight and also will be quicker drying than our waterproof boots. I will be glad when we can get this room back to what it has been...and reduce some of this clutter.

In addition to the preparation of gear, we continue to do what we can to mentally and physically prepare. We have begun to do stairs with our packs, as the outdoors has not always been reasonable to hike in. Yoga will also be a physical and mental benefit, we think, to the hike and our way of getting through the challenges we will face.

Yesterday I listened to a podcast on The Moth by Elizabeth Gilbert while I was walking up and down the stairs. It was awesome, of course it was, and there was something that stood out to me that relates to what we are doing with this hike. She was talking about the death of her partner and reflecting on their relationship and how her ideas about life and death changed during the months toward the end of her partner's life. She was describing her partner and the things she loved about her and amidst all the adjectives she used she noted that she had been a former heroin addict and felon. What stood out to me was that that information was part of a list; it was part of who her partner was and she loved all of her. It made me think about how we frame things and how we present that information to people that it gets received. I know that my son's struggle with addiction was only a part of who he was and is part of his story of his life. The people we are walking for who have died, their addiciton was only a part of who they were. The stories we know and hear about lost loved ones are that these losses are a loss for all of us.

The number of overdose deaths for 2017 were estimated at 72,000. That was just for that year....the loss for our country is immense. Our hope is to keep the discussions going and reduce stigma about 'who is affected'...'the others'. All these deaths bigger ways than many recognize. Please share this site....our FB page, 'AT ODA hike' so we can spread the word. We want to gain attention for the ongoing efforts by others to increase awareness, reduce stigma and support those who are working toward leaving their addiciton behind.

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