I have sworn off shopping, but fell off the wagon this morning. I went to REI and bought a very nice (and very expensive) topographic map for Lassen, which shows all the trails, roads, jeep roads, etc. in the park. I also bought a book of the Lassen hiking trails. While browsing the book in the store I glanced at the section on wildlife in the park under “Be Mountain Lion Alert”. “Recognizing threatening mountain lion behavior” and “Do not approach a mountain lion” were two mesmerising paragraphs. You can be absolutely sure I won’t approach a mountain lion! One of the suggestions in the event a mountain lion should be closer than 50ft, is to “look around for some sticks and rocks to throw”. I always carry a cheap plastic whistle when I hike, and if a mountain lion gets too close to me I will blast his ears out! In reality, I might also freeze on the spot and turn, like Lot’s wife, into a pillar of salt!
I also got some boot treatment for my hiking books, so I will get them all cleaned up and in order.
I received the volunteer handbook in the electronic version, and printed out the first section. I will have to ask them about wearing jeans as they don’t mention it under the suggested pants to be worn. They will provide the uniform shirts though, plus hat.
Lastly, I bought a big bottle of Benadryl allergy tablets. I have just taken one – I’d forgotten that just about every season of the year there is something blooming in California, and if you don’t have allergies when you get here you won’t have to wait long for them to take hold. I wanted them in case I am stung by an insect while I’m at the park – you may remember that last summer back in Asheville I got stung on two different occasions – one sending me to the doctor in a hurry. At least I will have something I can take if I need it, and also have Benadryl cream from last year.
Everyone knows that planning and getting ready for a journey is sometimes as much fun as arriving at the destination. I think that must be the case right now for me, as I am absolutely in heaven in the planning for this journey, and I know I’m going to love it once I arrive.