I debated whether to do a journal on my AT trip. Seems kind of like work, and I'm going on this trip to have fun, not to work (leaving aside the point that for some people, hiking all day might be perceived as work). But I think recording my thoughts and experiences before and during the trip may add to the fun, so I'll give it a go for now. If it seems too much like work once I get on the trail, the postings will stop!
I've wanted to thru-hike the AT for a long time. Probably ever since I knew the AT went from GA to ME, when I hiked my first section more than 40 yrs ago. But the timing was never right, so I enjoyed doing sections, and took great pleasure when my Uncle Ed completed his last section of the AT in 1990(?). I've been very lucky to do a lot of the AT in ~ week long sections with Uncle Ed and my brother Eric over the years. But the allure of doing a thru, or at least a much longer section, never went away.
Now I find myself with the great timing of ending one phase of my career with a severance package that makes it possible for me to take a long paid vacation before starting the next phase of my career (whatever that may prove to be). I feel quite lucky to be pfired! As soon as I knew it was gong to happen, I started thinking about what to do with this windfall, and it didn't take long for me to decide - I'll backpack the AT, or at least as much of it as I feel like doing in the time I have (I started to type "as much as I can", but decided instead to give myself the flexibility of deciding to do less than I can, and just what I want!). I feel more than a little hedonistic in taking so much time to have fun (some may think "carrying a pack in rain and cold for miles and miles day after day is hedonistic fun??"). But I've decided I've earned it after more than 20 yrs of 60-90 hour work weeks, and I know better than to take my good health for granted forever.
So this is my first journal posting. I plan to write about whatever comes to mind. Some days it will probably be the weather, other days what I'm eating (or wish I were eating), what I'm seeing, the trail, the people I'll meet, or perhaps reflections on life. The mountains have always brought out my spiritual side; it's one of the reasons I enjoy them so much. Few experiences match the exhilaration of climbing a mountain and standing on the top with the wind in your face, looking over a wild landscape! Makes me shiver just to think about it. In between such moments are long miles of hiking where one finds other delights, and the endorphins come from other sources, or you even just zone out for a while. In the back of my mind if not the front, I'll be thinking about what I want to do after I get off the trail, but there's plenty of time to focus on that later.
Now I really need to start sorting through my equipment piles in the basement, and decide what to bring.
hiking and breathing are essential activities.