Calm before the Dawn

     The day is winding down. And another day, far longer, is winding up.

     Tomorrow, I’m going to walk this route, from Urbana to Chicago’s Chinatown.

     The night is calm. I am not sure that I can do this. I have a feeling that this battle alone, the one I am about to embark on tonight, while I meditate, will determine my success. In one mentality, I have already lost. I have not yet found the other.

     My heart is beating faster just thinking about it. Visualizing the trail and the destination. Feeling the asphalt underfoot and the hot sun above. I chose this weekend for the full moon, but the forecast says it will be cloudy. Hopefully only during the day.

     I tried carbohydrate loading today. I haven’t quite eaten the required 12g per 1kg of body mass in carbohydrates, but it hasn’t been a full 24 hours yet, so I have time. We’ll see how that works. I have to get a flashlight from the car and extra batteries. Attach the reflective stickers to my backpack and pack everything up – dump my extra pair of shoes in there, too. Pack up my various chargers and bring a power strip to steal electricity wherever possible. Hat for shade. Ankle braces. Knee braces. Pain killers. Thanks, Jen. Some Clif Bars, a 6-pack of 5-hour energy. Notebook to scrawl in. Cellphone. Video camera. Google Maps directions.

MUST BUY:
Extra batteries (AAA)
Pain killers (pills)
Baby powder
Sunscreen
Sunglasses

MUST DO:
Attach reflective tape to backpack
Pack everything away
Make more rice
Pack some rice
Freeze some rice
Fill iPod with songs
Wash water bottles
Fill with water
Bring Toilet paper
Meditate
Meditate
Meditate

Truth. Love. Hope.

~Brian Kung

EDIT Changing the parameters a bit. I’m going to bring stuff to sleep on and move only during the night when it’s cooler. There’s a heat advisory. This almost definitely means calling off my Monday appointment.

  • This may not be the best time. Tomorrow is going to be a record high heat index today, over 100. Stay well-hydrated, okay?

    • Will do. If anything else, I'm starting out toward nightfall, so hopefully it won't be so bad.

  • Nathan C

    dude good luck man. let me know how it goes

  • Winnie

    Oh dear…I hope it doesn't rain on you…extra socks? as;ldfjsaldfjsaldfjlsdjflsdjfs;dlkfjsdl;fajdflasdjf >.< (<–me being a girl)
    Stay safe/healthy, no doubt this would be an incredible experience.
    Good luck!

  • Ryokubaka

    Not gonna lie, this is awesome and I wish I could do it with you. Alas, I have a jorb and stuffz.

    My tips based on experience/from long ruck marches:

    – Keep your thighs clean and try to walk without creating friction around your manly area. You can easily form rashes on your inner thighs within hours if you don't pay attention to hygiene (with that said, bring wipes with you to clean every few hours). I also suggest bringing baby powder to use on big friction areas (your inner thighs maybe, and definitely your feet).

    – Your feet are extremely important — considering the heat and the length of the track, changing your socks at least once every.. I'm not really sure, depends on how much you sweat. Regardless, bring a few extra pairs of socks.

    – Again with your feet, bring moleskin. Or put moleskin on before you go out. Since your cheap, maybe try duck tape. Put it on the key areas of your foot where blisters form, or where you've experienced blisters in the past. For example, your big toe, the ball of your foot and the area immediately next to it, and the back of your foot where friction is formed from the shoe bouncing.

    – And, easily one of the most overlooked things (as my brother has said), hydration. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. When it's cold, you may think you're not thirsty, but if you've constantly moving then you constantly need water. Bring a camelbak if you have one. If you don't, you can borrow mine. I guarantee it would be extremely useful for this trip — not having to worry about carrying multiple water bottles, but rather having accessible water on your back/next to your face (the tube) at all times.

    I'm sure there's more, but yeah. Don't underestimate this — it's really awesome, but go prepared. To undertake it without being prepared is just silly. Also don't be afraid to call someone if you're too weak or injured to go on just because of your pride. Hell, if you can't do it the first time, recover and try it again.

    • Baby powder added. And I'm picking up camelback from a friend. Thanks a ton, Spence

  • Bad. Ass.

    Good luck dude.

  • P.s. Bring sunscreen.

    • Thanks! I forgot about that. Updated the post.

  • You may also want to pack some emergency toilet paper since there isn't much civilization on your route. Also, don't forget to walk opposite oncoming traffic and all that – these roads don't have sidewalks.

    • Yes! I knew I forgot something. Updated

  • Deenfarooq

    this is sick, dont forget sunglasses, the glare off the road can kill

    • Thanks, Deen! Updated the list. Time to go get my shit together. Moving out tonight when it cools off a bit.

  • Kin

    make sure you bring at least a week's work of rice. make that a month. you'll get hungry.

    and a bow. and plenty of arrows. or just a knife to make your own arrows.

    don't forget money to hire sherpas. or to pay for the taxi ride if anything bad happens.

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