After a lot of sweat, a tiny bit of blood, some moments of near tears, a possible small concussion, and a few low-times I considered quitting the hike, we finally had our apartment packed and moved into our storage unit. It’s amazing how our life and memories, which seem so large and beautiful, can be packed into a 10X13 storage locker- and how come tomorrow, our new life will be contained within a 60L, 25-30lb pack(*we don’t know the weight yet because we haven’t packed yet…) Also amazing? How terrible packing is…

Our plan: spend a few days packing, hire movers to move our stuff to our storage unit, hire cleaners to clean apartment, rent and drive a van to AZ full of stuff to store at my parents’ house, drive Matt’s car to Arizona to store in parents’ garage, hitch a ride back to SD from my parents, relax in SD for a few days, eat a lot of food, start hike.

Reality: It was more stressful than I imagined it would be- when did we collect so much shit? How was it all going to fit? Were we forgetting something? Why did we wait until the last minute? And how did I manage to accidentally leave one of our battery packs and our special waterproof/lightweight/on back-order pouches in the dresser that got plastic wrapped and placed in the back of our storage unit where we could never get to?

Spoiler: I didn’t. But at 9pm of the day we were supposed to leave for Arizona I realized it was missing, and that was the only logical solution. I ended up finding the missing stuff in a bag I had packed and planned to leave in Arizona, so it was a blessing we hadn’t left yet- but why hadn’t we left? Because Matt’s car was STILL in the shop and wouldn’t be ready until “early tomorrow.”

Spoiler: it wasn’t ready early that next morning. After spending the night on our sleeping pads in the middle of our apartment, I left for AZ around 6am with the thought that Matt would follow a few hours later. Around 1pm he finally got word that his car was just about ready for pick up, but when he arrived he found that one of the machines they were using to fix his car broke, further delaying his departure. He left the Subaru dealership after 4pm, and didn’t start heading to Arizona until 5:15pm.

Meanwhile, in Arizona, I had to have the van returned to the phx airport by 4pm to avoid being charged another day. Not realizing that there was bad traffic, I left a little too late, which was going to get me to the airport at exactly 4p. Not too long into the mad-dash I realized I had left some Adirondack chairs in the van- chairs that weren’t going to fit in my mom’s car! So we quickly made a detour to leave the chairs at my sister’s house, where I realized I had to fill the tank with gas. And also where I realized I had left my wallet at home(*not the first or last time I left my wallet somewhere this weekend…*) Somehow, even with all those side trips, I made it by 4pm. And Matthew made it to AZ by 11:30p.

My 24 hours in Arizona felt like a vacation. Matt got a whopping 14 hours in Arizona, but he spent most of that sleeping in a bed, so he has to feel a bit more rested, eh? When we got back to San Diego we unloaded our stuff at the hotel and drove the nearly 20 min to our apartment to pick up all of our hiking food we had yet to organize and pack into resupply boxes. When we got to the apartment i realized that I had left my keys at the hotel…as had Matt. Change of plans: burgers and burritos, and early to bed…tomorrow we will organize and pack.

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