Sunday, March 27, 2011

Care Packages!

Before getting into the care package information, I would like to share an adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling "If" poem.  This was written by a friend of mine, Julie Urbanski.  She has also written a book about her experience hiking the PCT in 2007 with her husband Matt.  In the book Julie does an excellent job of breaking down and explaining the makings of a thru-hike including the highs and lows, and how your perspective of things such as water and necessities change along the way. Definitely an interesting and entertaining read, and she is selling copies if you are interested!

Now to the poem...

If for Thru-Hikers 
by Julie Urbanski

If you can let the trail change the way you look, think and act,
      yet still remain the same person to the core.
If you can meet a hundred strangers along the way,
      and treat each one of them as a potential friend.
If you can call the mountains your home for months,
      yet leave them as if you never tread on their grounds.
If you can take in all that surrounds you,
      and keep each experience as a memory to be recalled later with a
      smile and gratitude.
If you can conquer each uphill climb, knowing it will eventually end,
      by putting one foot in front of the other,
      and then enjoy each ensuing reward of downhill or flat miles.
If you can take each difficult moment,
      and find the silver lining in order to get through it.
If you can keep your gaze focused on the miles ahead,
      yet not get wrapped up in wishing for the end to be near.
If you can take all the experiences, all the hunger and thirst, all the highs,
      and all the lows, all the dirt and exhaustion, all the steps that lead to
      your destination, and in the end come full circle to face yourself, who
      you are and who you wish to be...
If all you can do is just keep walking,
      from Mexico to Canada....

Then Alex, you will be a thru-hiker.

Man am I excited for this adventure to begin!  And it seems like everyone I have talked to about the PCT is just as excited for me as well.  Unfortunately, I know a lot of people aren't going to be able to make it out to the trail to do much hiking, but I would still love to hear from you!  There are a few towns I am planning to go to for sure, so if you would like to send a letter or care package, please send it to one of these locations.  Before I give the list of addresses, there are a few instructions to make sure that what you send ends up making it to me.

  • Letters can be mailed First Class (regular mail).
  • Most boxes must be mailed via Priority Mail through the US Post Office.  If you send a box via First Class or Parcel Post, I probably won't get it.  Don't believe the Post Office employees when they tell you they can have a Parcel Post box to me in a week or 10 days from when you send it, it's not true.
  • Please do not use UPS or FedEx.  They do not deliver to all locations.
  • However you send the box, please make sure that I DO NOT have to sign for it.
  • What should you put in a care package?  Consumables are definitely a good thing! Care packages don't have to be huge.  Food is good!  Homemade cookies, notes from you, other baked goods, newspaper clippings, and brain teasers or things that can keep my mind busy while hiking. 
  • What should not go into a care package? Anything that I would have to carry. If you send stuffed animals, or toys, or books, I'll have to send those home because I can't take them on the trail with me.
  • As I said in the last post, I do not have firm dates for when I'll be at specific locations.  If I say that I'll be someplace on a certain day, I could be off a few days either before or after that day.  The best way to make sure I get any care packages would be to make sure it will get to the location a couple days before my ETA.  Following along on this blog will be a good way to keep up with my progress to see where I am.  
  • It's very important that you address each letter/box exactly the same as I've detailed  on the following list.  And don't forget to write, "Hold for PCT hiker.  ETA: (date)" on the bottom left corner of all boxes and letters.  It's also helpful if you write "ASAI" in big black letters on the side of any box.  Surprise packages are nice, but I've got to ask for all my mail.  If I don't know you've sent something, I won't know to ask for it.  So if you're sending me something, please send me an email, text, or voicemail to tell me about the package.  

Agua Dulce (Trail mile 454) Approximate Arrival - May 25
Alex Asai
c/o The Saufleys
11861 Darling Road
Agua Dulce, CA 91390

Kennedy Meadows (Trail mile 703) Approximate Arrival - June 8
Alex Asai
c/o Kennedy Meadows General Store
96470 Beach Meadow Road
Inyokern, CA 93527

Tuolomne Meadows (Trail mile 943)
Alex Asai
c/o General Delivery
Tuolomne Meadows
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

Sierra City (Trail Mile 1198) Approximate Arrival - July 7
Alex Asai
c/o Sierra Country Store
213 Main Street
Sierra City, CA 96125

Seiad Valley (Trail mile 1662) Approximate Arrival - July 31
Alex Asai
c/o Mid River RV Park
PO Box 707
Seiad Valley, CA 96806

Crater Lake Mazama Village (Trail mile 1830) Approximate Arrival - August 9
Alex Asai
c/o Crater Lake Camp Store
Mazama Village
Crater Lake, OR 97604

Cascade Locks
If you want to send something to me here, you can send it to my parents and they will deliver it to me!
Rick and Betsy Asai
2640 SW Orchard Hill Place
Lake Oswego, OR 97035

Only 4 weeks of work left and then it's on!

1 comment:

  1. Alex,

    I am looking forward to following your blog. A couple of questions: Are you doing this alone? You have taken a leave of absence from work to do this or will you also be gathering some data for the Forest Service? Biggest question why? To test yourself? To search your soul for a deeper meaning in life? To honor someone or cause? I will be thinking about you every day!