You Might Like to Walk…
…that is the balance of probability in my mind. I also like to walk. Walking is boring to some, and there is a repetitive nature to putting one foot in front of the other. Boredom, though, is a state of mind. In my mind, walking represents a diversity of experience. Bored with what is in front of you? Walk somewhere else.
I can appreciate if the only thing going on during a walk is watching one foot heading out in front of the other, then yes, there is not much entertainment value. The opportunity cost of time is also a factor. It is certainly one thing to periodically walk for leisure or to get from the car to the store and back, or perhaps make a day-trip to a lake or park. It is another to trek for miles away from a road for an overnight camping trip and even a third to step off for a walk that encompasses the better part of the continent. If you are like me and like to walk, and if you have the time, this kind of idea might be right up your alley.
It seems to be mine…
Preparation for the Walk
Six months ago I spent a day at Harper’s Ferry evaluating the challenge of an AT thru-hike. Could my fitness improve? Could the experience change my perspective? Would I be able to kick my nicotine gum habit? My life needed something radically different so I stifled my creeping self-doubt and got into shape.
I walk between six and ten miles each day. I’ve lost 20 pounds in body weight since that day at Harper’s Ferry. I’ve outfitted an Osprey Exos-58 pack for a winter hike at 25 pounds, including four day’s food supply.
Fine Tuning the Gear for the Walk
The standing question is where my brain needs to go. Well, the pack’s brain anyway. The Osprey Exos-58 has a detachable top pocket, which is light, handy, and provides something of a rain barrier to the compartment below. This easy-to-reach ‘brain’ currently contains discretionary items such as my phone, charging cable, and other little odds and ends. I am no stranger to long walks, though it has been a long time. Ironically, the goal now is to go as light as possible. Since I am attempting to keep my total load under 25 pounds, the brain is a candidate to stay behind to save the 4.2 ounces it represents. At this point, I think I’ll put my brain in my bump box so that it is available if I change my mind.
I plan to step off at Amicalola Falls in mid-December. I don’t know how this story will end. That sounds like a metaphor for life, as is hiking. We shall see. I’m sure I’ll be as surprised as everyone else with what happens next.
Sharing the Walk
As for blogging for The Trek, I suppose sometimes it helps to talk things out. I enjoy reading Trek blog posts and feel I’ve learned some important things from other hikers. I’d like to return the favor. Given that my purpose in life may very well be to simply serve as a warning to others, I am okay sharing my experience so that someone else may benefit.
Finally, why winter? Because: Cool weather, no snakes, no ticks, no poison ivy, and hopefully no people for long stretches of trail. I have a number of life issues I need to sort through and I need some space and privacy to do so. I expect a fair amount of hollering from my soul that others need not hear…
And? East coast summers slay me. I want to finish and head to the Rocky Mountains before the weather gets uncomfortably warm.
See you on the high ground.
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