Excited and Anxious to begin

Shortly after my wife died I began thinking about what my life would be like now that I was alone.  57 years together is a long time.  During her last years, she required considerable care, now what do I do?  When I was approaching retirement I was faced with similar questions.  Would we travel?  Was the Peace Corps an option?  What about the Appalachian Trail?  Carol’s health put those thoughts on hold.  Now what?

The death of someone close to you opens the door to reflection.  When my childhood friend died at 49 years I spent much time with regrets of things I should have, could have, would have done.  Now I was faced with reflections again.  My daughters helped me a lot during the last few weeks of life and every chance I had I would walk.  Nothing seemed to help calm my mind and spirit like time spent walking.   There is in fact a type of meditation practiced by the Buddhists called Walking Meditation.  My time walking helped me to clarify what my life might be like looking forward.

Clearly then it seemed that walking would be some part of my path (no pun intended) forward.  Why not do this thing that had been in the back of my mind for so long?   A decision like this ev0lves over time.  I began mentioning the idea to friends and family.  It seemed almost 100% thought it was a good idea.  Each positive feedback took me further toward doing rather than just thinking about doing.

There is so much information about any subject available to us today.  I began researching, reading others’ blogs, gear lists, experiences.  If nothing else it was good for my mental health, to be thinking of the future rather than just reflecting on the past.  I started making lists of gear I would buy, “if”, I were to try the trek.  In time I would buy an occasional item.  In time I began saying when telling someone about my idea, not that I am “thinking” about walking the AT but rather that I was going to walk the trail this next year.  This was an exciting moment to me when I realized I had completely fallen into this wonderful rabbit hole.  I was now on a quest that I had limited control over.  Excited and Anxious.



Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 11

  • Morgan : Jan 16th

    I look forward to following your journey!

  • Fred : Jan 16th

    You really are my sometimes hero! You know I’m with you 100%!!

  • MG Hibionada : Jan 16th

    I appreciate your vulnerability and willingness to share your story. I’m looking forward to reading about your hike!

  • Julie : Jan 17th

    I’m also looking forward to following you on Trek.

  • Just Bob : Jan 17th

    Go forward!
    Life is way too short to later tell yourself “Cudda “, “Shudda”, “Wudda”.
    Your story is inspiring…

  • Meghan : Jan 17th

    Welcome to the rabbit hole!!! Lots of great folks down here. Plenty of room too.

  • LeakyBoots! : Jan 17th

    As a 78 something slack packer/lasher, I look forward to following you. Maybe tale some breaks and slack pack some difficult sections in the South.

  • Jack Layfield : Jan 17th

    My wife of 47 years passed away. I then began to consider a life long dream of an AT thru hike. At age 67, I completed my thru in 2019.
    Happy Trails,
    Chappy Jack

  • Jhony Adam : Jan 17th

    Subscribed. I have 74 orbits and looking forward to your journey. Walking it for yourself and also vicariously for lots of others.

  • kathryn M vashro : Jan 23rd

    Egon, good for you for moving forward and find a goal to accomplish… SO EXCITING.

    I may see you on the trail, starting the beginning of April

  • CJZ : Feb 7th

    Good for you! May your spirit be renewed each day, and may the challenges be a reminder that you can do whatever you dream! Stay safe and well! I am going to look for your posts often.


What Do You Think?