Surgery Eve

Had a textersation with Jennie last night. She coming off a surgery and me going in for one, tomorrow. While we weren’t talking, I had the thought/idea that maybe I should go back and look through some of my hiking photos. Since I’ll be off the Trail for the foreseeable future. I’ve never written foreseeable before. Looks funny but spellcheck liked it.

Anyway. I was stuck on selfies back then. It was like proof that I was out there. Like no one would believe me.

I was such a liar when I was a drinker. I still feel like people need proof. I had to lie so much, it became normal for me. The truth is way easier.

So. Selfies. Yes, I took a lot of them. Selfies and landscapes.

Now they are only my last resort photos. I take people. And I video landscapes. A photo is mostly used for informational stuff. Like a state line sign. Or an entry in a trail log. Or a still shot of a shelter. I like shelter shots. I don’t sleep in them, but I love to admire the work of our incredible volunteers. I will do that in some capacity, some day. Volunteer in an office. I will hike until I can’t. Then volunteer.

So selfies… Here are a bunch of them. I’ll see if I can remember where they were! I took them so you might say, “Oh. Look where Doug is! Cool!”

Mostly now I say, “How did I get here and why am I doing this, again?” 😊

I’ve changed so much. In a good way, I think.

Me, John, and Gates
My original AA hiker pals! Look how excited I am! They were hikers way back. Having fun again.
Mirror selfie. The day I finished Maryland. My first 4 day hike. I wanted to document how dirty I was!
Me and Sherpa. Another of my hiker supporters. He carries my pack when we hike together. Hence the trail name.

Almost every photo has a different jacket on me. That was a Cabela’s. It’s like musical jackets with me. Was. That changed,too.

PA somewhere.
Foggy PA
Perched on a big rock somewhere in PA.
PA in winter.
More PA in winter. “Look. Doug’s in the snow! And there’s an AT blaze! He’s on the AT again!”
NJ “Look! It’s really cold and Doug’s in the snow again!”
Oops. Doug and Marilyn. (not on the AT. Moving to Easton)
Doug at the AT halfway marker in PA. Not halfway for me! I was at about 200 miles.
Doug with some drunk guys at a rented cabin, in the AM. (Look! Doug meets people!) They were really nice guys.
Doug entering rainy NY
Doug at the Lemon Squeezer!
Doug finds big NY rocks.
Yoda. He’s sick of landscapes now, too.
Doug at a shelter. PA or NJ or NY. Love shelter
Covid Doug with John and Gates again.

There are so many more. Mostly Virginia and Connecticut. They are the same. Many with Jennie. I actually love those. All the ones with friends are fun. It’s just those, look at me ones. Yuk.


Me starting Maryland. Look at me! 30 pounds heavier. I think I left my face in shadow on purpose. I HATED this photo. I couldn’t believe that I had let myself go, so. This is the first time anyone has seen this one. I am so much healthier.

So. What is different now?

I’ve lost the weight of a full pack.

I’ve gone nearly 1000 miles.

I document the hikes for me and the people I hike with. Not to have people see what I’ve done.

I use video. It is so much more present. It includes the viewer more.

I take photos of people. People make the Trail. It’s not about how much I accomplish anymore. Sure, the mileage is important, but I don’t need it to like myself more. I like myself more because the mileage doesn’t matter. My trail friends matter. They matter. Not me. Not selfie me.

Tomorrow I get a new hip. Yikes. My stomach did a flip. I’m scared. So what! Seems like everything good for me these days scares me.

That’s why older people do less, maybe. Fear.

Fear will not get me. So many of my friends have wished me well. My on Trail and off Trail friends.

Thank you.

See you on the other side. No. Not the afterlife… The other side of my new hip.

All-In… Out.

4 thoughts on “Surgery Eve

  1. Lots of luck w/your new hip, Doug! Are you going to the Rothman Institute in Bensalem? That’s where John had his done a few years ago! That will be a good procedure to have behind you!!! This print is so tiny I can’t even read it so who knows what I said?!!??

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Enjoyed that review. Some great history Doug. Keep sharing. Good luck with surg on hip. Now you’re really hip ! Sorry just came up. I’m spontaneous like that lately. Like pic with Marilyn and got to see ones with you, John, and Gates. John one of many long time friends from grade school. Ok stay safe. Chris

    Liked by 1 person

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