Ok. Enough now. I can hike. I remember how to set up my tent. I can handle the cold. My hip is almost completely healed. I’m not going out there overnight by myself, anymore.
It’s way to boring. I need people or a new section of the AT.
So anyway, I hiked in. Set up my tent. Cut wood. Built a fire. Cooked dinner over the coals. Cleaned up and made sure the fire was out. Climbed into my tent. Checked out all my photos and edited where necessary and deleted a bunch.
It was 6pm and dark. Now what?
I didn’t have a book. I wasn’t feeling moved to write. I didn’t need to see if I could still camp by myself. I can. I found that out the last time I was out here.
Enough. I’m going home. I don’t want to stay in a tent for 10 hours unless I’m dead tired for a full day of hiking!
I packed everything up (in the dark for practice) and decided to hike out on an old road that I was pretty sure would take me to the same parking lot, where my car was located. I got about a quarter mile down the road and my headlamp died.
Cool! I was ready for that and I needed practice in changing the batteries. I used the light on my cell phone and dug through my pack for the rechargeable square battery that I had charged earlier, just in case. In case happened.
This was the best part of the hike. I was not sure where I was going, I had to get my headlamp working to walk safely, and it was quickly getting quite cold. I needed a little trail stress.
It’s important to handle all the crazy situations that occur out there. This was my first dead, headlamp. Deadlamp. Cool!
I got out the charged battery pack switched it into my deadlamp. It came alive! I packed up my pack, and headed down the road.
There was about half a moon up. It was beautiful out. This was so much better than lying in my tent for 10 hours. I walked a bit and heard cars. I knew I was basically going the right way by the position of the moon, and this road was going somewhere anyway. I came out on Rt 191 about 200 yards or so down the hill from my car.
I found my way. It felt good.
It feels now, like I got my trail chops back. I was getting soft. Enjoying my chair too much. Too much TV.
For 2+ months I just walked twice a day and let my hip recover. It was great experiencing the constant improvement. Every day I got better.
Now I have a whole other problem that I never considered. I didn’t feel like finishing the trail anymore. It was seeming like too tough a task. Who does that at 70? I’m actually 69 but have been practicing being 70 for a while to break myself in. Ha.
The point is, hardly anyone tries to hike the entire Appalachian Trail at 70! It’s really hard!
I got back to my car and drove home.
You know. Surgery changes people. It kills a little of the fire inside. I felt it happening to me.
I made an appointment with my South African Physical Therapist. She fixes my ailments, and subsequently gets my wheels back on the track mentally.
I told her I had lost momentum and whined a bit. She agreed with me that a surgery, especially later in life can kill a spirit. Have you ever seen that? I have. She said that she has seen people just quit on life after surgery.
It’s hard doing the rehab. It takes energy. I nearly used up all my energy. I wanted to give up my goal.
I will not. After we talked, and I realized what was happening, I made the decision to “fake it until I made it.” It’s also called “Acting as if.” Move the body, the mind will follow. I’m not feeling 100% yet like doing this, but I will.
I can fight through this. I got honest with a bunch of my hiking friends and talked to my AA friends as well. I’m OK now.
Well. Almost Ok.
What I do know is that I am not going up there and sleep in my tent by myself again. I know how to camp. It’s no fun by myself. If no one else comes, I’m not going overnight. Hike. Cook. Come home. That IS fun.
I will load up my pack, go up to the Trail and train. Get my trail legs back. Drop this 10 pounds I’ve gained.
When I’m ready and the weather cooperates, I’ll be back out there. Finishing that blasted thing.
“Blasted.” Where did that word come from. Probably my TV watching 60 years ago. 😊