28 Oct 16 That is the day tattooed on the inside of my upper right arm, just below the looming image of Mt Katadin, the Northern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail. On that date I decided to hike the entire AT.
I’m about half way done. Nearly 6 years it’s been. Half way done. At this rate I will be 77 when I finish. I don’t think I will be able to hike much at 77. My cardiologist told me to finish by 75. I’m not sure where he pulled that date from, but it works for me.
If I made a list of the ailments that have invaded my body since then, it would upset me. But so what. Let’s be upset.
Lyme Disease. Thyroid Cancer with 2 surgeries. Prostate Surgery with two infections needing hospitalization. Hip Replacement Surgery. Two pulled calf muscles. Plantar Fasciitis. Torn Rotator Cuff.
Pain. I am living with pain. Two sore knees. Arthritis pain in my hands and feet. Maybe in my lower back. I’ve had spinal surgery there and still have symptoms. Sciatic pain. Numb right foot.
Oh, that’s right, almost forgot, I had a TIA, 6 months ago. Mini stroke. I don’t hike alone anymore, and I wear a helmet just to be safe. Blood thinners and head injury is not the way I want to go.
So. There’s the rundown.
I’m going to finish in the next 2 years. Maybe 3. I am going to finish. I am. I have to.
This summer I will finish Virginia. Finish Massachusetts. Finish Georgia. And try and do North Carolina. Oh. I will also hike Mt. Katahdin.
Karahdin is the toughest climb on the trail. I want that off my mind. I’m nervous/excited right now thinking about it!
That is why I do this. I need to be challenged. I thrive on the accomplishment completed after the nervous/excitement. Always have. Always will. It’s in my DNA.
Looks a little daunting, right? It’s a rocky, 5 hour hike up and even tougher, 5 hour hike down. I will take my headlamp, just in case.
Weather can also be a big problem. I’m told that the forecast on any day can change pretty dramatically. I’ll bring cold weather gear with me.
I guess you can see what’s on my mind. I can’t wait until it’s done.
5,269 feet up.