What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

After a lifetime of searching, I found (actually tracked down) My Dearest Love.  We found a profound, deep and abiding love and jokingly committed to a 30 year contract with an option to renew.  We had three extraordinary years together and a year long nightmare.  The Amalfi Coast of Italy (we got engaged on our honeymoon), Mexico, Yellowstone, and Croatia – we experienced them all as we got reacquainted and settled into our new lives together.  We were actually planning a move to Croatia to make it home base as we traveled and experienced all Europe had to offer.  We’d agreed The Appalachian Trail would be high on our bucket list when we returned to the States.

I lost her less than a year after we returned from Croatia.  Pancreatic Cancer.   Despite millions of dollars spent on research to find a cure, she was taken from me.

What do you do when the Heart of your Soul is ripped out?  What do you do when the reason for your very Life is taken from you?  Me?  I drifted.  For three years I wandered, including a year in Panama.  Back in the States cleaning computer files, I ran across an AT file with some preliminary information I’d gathered.  Hit me like a 2×4 up side the head, “That’s what I’m gonna do!”

And so, I have to ask once more – What have I gotten myself into?

My first question was whether or not to take Gus along.  He’s my best buddy; a semi-trained, seven year old, Labradoodle. Research showed he could make the trip and I couldn’t imagine being without him for 6 months.  That pretty much sealed it.  He’s coming along.

Can we finish?  We’ve both led fairly sedentary lives.  Despite that, the answer is “Of course we can”.   Other than high cholesterol and high blood pressure (me not Gus), we’re both fairly healthy.  We’ve got no schedule.  We’ve got no deadlines.  And we’ve got nowhere else we have to be.

Will we finish?  Remains to be seen.  I’ve got my reasons to finish, but are they strong enough?  I’ve got the vision of the person I’ll be when I finish, but how badly do I want to be that person?  I know the price I’ll pay and the feelings I”ll have to deal with if I come up short.  I’ve got the equipment, the time, and the desire.  I’ve also got the age and enough experience to know that all that thought and planning will go right out the window when we take those first steps North from Springer and a whole new world opens up for us.

But, for the first time since March of 2018, I’m going to be able to look at my best buddy, Gus and say, “Let’s be off then…and see what lies ahead.”

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