Wednesday, April 14, 2010


"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance." (Galatians 5:22-23)


I need to start over from Square One about every hour......

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


I'm caught in a time warp.

Now that it's thru-hiker season, I keep thinking, what could I have done to stay on the Trail? Even though, at the time, I had become convinced that I WANTED to come home and do the SavageMan triathlon, and when I did, I was very happy that I had.

It was after the triathlon was over that the sadness kicked in. Training for the tri had filled the void temporarily.

I'm training for the same tri again now (I'll have 6 months of training for it instead of 2 like last year) but it's not filling the void this time. No doubt I'd still be feeling Springer Fever now even if I'd stayed on the Trail and gotten to Katahdin. I'd want the hope-filled start and long step-after-step journey and the climactic finish again. I'd be wanting to pack my pack and do the whole 2,183 miles all over again. I'm sure I would. Even if I'd finished it.

Nothing ever takes the longing away. No one is ever the same. I hear it over and over.

The one thing to the contrary that I do hear, I may have averted: sticking with it far past desire, far past reason, coming to dread each day, loathing it, finishing out of stubbornness, and then never wanting to hike again, never wanting to see a trail again, even for a day. I've heard of that happening.

I'm glad it didn't happen to me. I got out in time.

With the result that I keep thinking about what I could have done to keep hiking, and what I can do to get back out there, and where and when and how.

Better to be left wanting more and planning and waiting for it to be possible, than to have lost the longing.

Monday, April 05, 2010


My tent is still outside from when I slept in it the other night. I've rested in it, napped in it, but not overnighted again since then. I keep thinking I will, but then I don't.

The weather map shows what looks like thunderstorms moving in after midnight. I was thinking I'd go out now before bed and take my tent down (in the dark) so it won't get wet. But what the heck, it's been wet lots of times. It's been wet for days at a time. The only thing is, I want to keep my down sleeping bag dry.

Then I realized.... if it gets wet, I'll bring it into the house and put it in the dryer.

Things have changed. I am not on the Trail anymore. Yet.

A fellow on an AT hiking email list is going to send me a hammock system to try risk-free: if I don't like it, I can send it back. I can't wait to try it. You stay drier in a hammock under a tarp then in a tent, and all you need to set it up is two trees -- you never have to worry about level ground or being in a low place or rocks or roots because you're above all that. I can't wait to test it out!

Then hoping to head back to the WV/MD state line on the Trail, maybe mid-May, and hike for a week or so, through Maryland and hopefully into PA to the half-way mark. My husband will stay with my mother for that long. I have got to get hiking to get well.... I'm down with "Springer Fever." Except today it was "Neels Gap Fever" -- a year ago today I'd made it to Neels Gap, the first significant landmark, 31 miles from Springer Mountain, that's some kind of Mecca for beginning hikers: "When I get to Neels Gap I'm going to get..." "When I get to Neels Gap I'm going to find out if there's any...." "When I get to Neels Gap I'm going to weed out a lot of junk...." Neels Gap was on everyone's mind. I felt such accomplishment when I made it.

Well, another year.... another time. In the meantime, I'll go for week-long jaunts and make slow progress up the trail. Trail Fever aka Springer Fever (also regret) is consuming me. I gotta get out there and hike a little.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


April 1st was my Appalachian Trail start date last year. I'm remembering it by sleeping out in my tent in the woods behind the house. If I'd thought of it sooner, I'd have gone on a hike nearby and camped out there. But then I'd have missed coloring Easter eggs with our 2 youngest granddaughters, which was a blast, especially since they used raw eggs :-) Anyway, great evening with them and our son, and now I'm going to sleep outside.

How things change from the way we imagined they would be. I really thought I'd finish on Mt. Katahdin in Maine about October 1st. Well, some other year. Or some other decade.