Thinking Things Through
It has been a sobering couple of days.
Several things happened yesterday.
- My son of 45 years took his son of 11 years to the pediatric ED because son of 11 having had seizures the night before. (As of this morning, Wesley was back in school and Lanse and the rest of us are breathing. It’s the five of us in this one little house.) As any parent knows, when the kid is sick everything else moves to the back seat.
- I wrote my first blog post for The Trek, for the first time actually talking about the possibility of a plan C. (Thru-hiking in 2021 was already plan B.)
- I got the email from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy advising postponement or at least great caution and strongly encouraging that we register any planned hikes.
- I registered my 2021 northbound (NOBO) thru-hike with a March 1 start date, knowing full well how unrealistic that date is likely to be. We’re all in wait-and-see mode now.
- I don’t know whether I will need to go to plan C., though it is looking more likely every day.
- I don’t know what plan C might look like. Some possibilities are:
- Start my NOBO on June 1 or thereabouts and see how far I can get before cold weather forces me off the trail. Finish in 2022. That would keep me celebrating my 71st birthday on June 16 on the AT. It would also get me out of the March NOBO bubble.
- Delay my NOBO until March, 2022 and spend as much time as I can in 2021 on New York alternatives such as the Finger Lakes Trail, Northville Lake Placid Trail or the Erie Canal Trail. New York State has no shortage of beautiful places to hike.
- Sit on my butt and mope. Not likely.
What I do know
- I do know that one way or another this is going to happen.
- I do know that even if it doesn’t happen and I never get to thru-hike the AT, I will still be an ok person.
- I do know that I am not interested in putting myself or others in unreasonable danger. Get real, folks. Covid-19 is real and it is deadly. I treat Covid-19 in much the way I treat heights. I’m not exactly afraid of them, but I treat them with great respect. There’s no coming back if I go over that 500 foot cliff at Letchworth.
- I do know that “no unreasonable danger” is not the same as “any danger”. Everything worthwhile in life involves risk. It’s all a matter of trade-offs.
- I do know that writing openly about the uncertainty has taken a load off my shoulders. We will get through this, my friends. Together.
What you can expect from me
- As time goes on I plan to post once a week. That way you don’t get spammed and I don’t have to come up with something worthwhile to say every day. I am posting more at the beginning as I sort things out.
- I’m a photographer. You are going to get pictures. I use my cell phone for immediate documentation and film cameras for everything else. Shooting film mean there is a lag between shooting and posting of anything from a couple days to several weeks. Personally, I enjoy the mystery factor. I have not yet figured out the logistics of how I am going to make this happen when I am away from my darkroom and scanner. In the meantime expect photographs from my preparatory hikes around our county and state parks.
- Commentary from the heart. I like to think and I like to write. I’m a Christian, a Protestant who loves hanging out with the monks of the Abbey of the Genesee (something else that has gone on pandemic-hold). I told a former Abbot that I was looking forward to my six months in the Abbey of the Appalachians. He said he was jealous of me.
- One day in November I drove down from Rochester to Letchworth State Park and hiked from the “Tea Table” area up(!) to the Great Bend overlook and back. It was a chilly day with the bright afternoon sun low in the sky.
- Argus C3 Brick with the 50mm lens (more about the camera in a later post)
Ilford HP5 Plus / Kodak D19 1:2 5 1/2 minutes
Steve / pearwood
Soli Deo Gloria
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