It's getting serious now. Last Friday I went to Quest Outdoors and bought my Osprey Aura backpack and an ultralight sleeping bag. I put in my high tech quick-dry shirts and one of my quick-dry, zip-off pants, some coolmax socks and sundry other things that I will itemize at a later date. It weighs seven and a half pounds so far. I still need to put in raingear, some lightweight sandals, my Brierley guide, and toiletries. (I am determined not to pack any cosmetics--ugh!) So, I think I am doing quite well. I am also researching the possibility of getting a Blackberry cellphone upgrade so I can text home once in a while, take some good photos, listen to some music, and use it to blog on the road without breaking the bank.
My friend, Tuula, has given me some Spanish lessons, and I have been refreshing my French. A friend who is a UPS pilot has offered to get me a stand-by ticket to Paris and back. My plan is to fly from Baltimore/D.C. to Paris in mid-May, take the TGV train from Paris to Bayonne, and then a local train to St. Jean Pied de Port to begin my trek.
Meanwhile, I've signed up for several walks in Louisville. A 5K, a 10K, a 10-miler, and the Derby mini-marathon. I'll take my backpack on all of those and see how I fare. Six miles is easy for me now, and I've done ten miles, so I think I'm ready. I am excited!