Off Trail (obviously), But Still Moving
Injuries gonna get ya….
For family and friends who don’t know already, Max (Pokey) had a medical incident early into our adventure that took us away from our initial quest to complete 300 miles on the AT. Better to be safe than sorry in the woods, we returned home to check things out with his doctor. While he is feeling okay, there is still some testing to do before he is cleared to walk the trail with a pack and poles again. So, what to do with this retirement time?
Other ways to enjoy the outdoors
Fortunately, we have good supplies for van camping, so after a few weeks at home we set out with wheels rather than trekking poles. We spent time in Shenandoah National Park, State parks in Virginia & West Virginia, Pennsylvania (grandkids!), Vermont, Canada, Michigan, Pennsylvania (again – those kids are cute), and of course our home state of Massachusetts. Maureen was able to enjoy some hiking, kayaking and biking, while Max served as the ever-cheerful shuttle service.
Maureen also took time to complete (sol0) a few sections of the AT our section hiking has missed over the year. These included the “roller coaster” section from Front Royal VA to Snickers Gap, portions of CT and NY, and a chunk of VT, including Stratton and the beautiful Stratton Pond shelter. It was rewarding but not as much fun without Pokey along for companionship.
Learned a few things
- Listen to your body – Sucking it up probably would have been the worst thing Pokey could have done when he started feeling bad. Older hikers, especially, need to trust their instincts when things feel weird.
- Ain’t no shame in taking a break – trail will still be there next month and next year
- The hiking community takes care of their own – so many nice people helped us and offered assistance.
- Thru-hikers eat a lot and when they aren’t eating they talk about food. But it seems everyone know that fact.
Plan is to get back on the trail and keep on walking, probably more slowly and with fewer multi-day overnighters. Perhaps we will set the record for the slowest completion of the AT – everyone needs a goal.
Moon & Pokey
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