So I’ve started prepping out and making an inventory of my gear to hit the Manistee River Trail loop soon. Being about 5 days out from dropping into the trail, I’m going over my list and making sure I’m not 10 miles down the trail realizing I missed something crucial. For me, I can be a bit OCD going over the list and checking it twice.
I have read that some call this their pre-trail anxiety. I don’t think I’m anxious about it, at least not nervous for sure. If anything I am excited to hit the trail and see what it brings us.
For this trip I decided to bring Bessie along with. Bessie is our 7 year old rescued Treeing Walker Coonhound. She is gun shy and I’m hoping to get far enough out into the woods where the 4th of July celebrations won’t bother her and we can go enjoy a nice hike. Before anyone asks, she walks 5 miles with me in the evening and still wants to go, and this trip I’m not going to make her carry anything but herself. She was bred as a hunting dog with a nose that will lead her through the woods tracking raccoons through the forest until they put them in a tree. They will hunt all night long. If you ever read “Where the Red Fern Grows” she’s a close cousin of the Redbone Coonhounds in the book.
Bessie had a rough first 4 years of her life we believe as a breeder dog and it’s taken 3 years to get her somewhat like a normal dog, but she’s always going to be skittish. Part of the prep this time was to setup the tent (it’s been raining so much here, I just decided to use my living room) and get her used to the tent. It actually went way better than I expected. This weekend we’re going to spend the night in it in the living room. She is my shadow to begin with and every night when I go to bed, she’s right there in her bed next to mine. This actually has me more excited to go and do this. It can open up a lot more hiking opportunities in the future since I won’t have to figure out what to do with the dog for a backpacking trip.
The next couple of days will be packing down and fitting it all into the pack. There may be a few things that get left behind, but I really do think I’m down to essentials and dealing with the older or heavier gear I haven’t replaced yet. I think everything that comes out of the pack is going to get a special box just for backpacking so I’m not trying to find all the pieces. My “car camping” gear can remain separate of this.
Overall, I’m going to say, I’m excited and can’t wait to go…I’m not anxious because I’m sure I can deal with what may be ahead of me, I always do.