My plan to hike the trail-all the way-has made a big difference in small things these days. I am not renewing any subscriptions, am planning to stop landline phone service in February, planning to actually move out of my little house in February as well. I hope to spend most of March visiting friends and family before I set out on my hike.
In the coming 6 months, I will be reading everything I can find on thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, backpacking in general, lightweight hiking and camping equipment, anything to ensure my plan is successful. A couple of thousand hikers start the AT every year-only about 10% actually finish. Only about 10% of that number are women. I plan to be in that tiny number. I may have failed at almost everything else I’ve attempted in my life, but I’m determined about this.
I alos plan to do this as a vegan. !!! Before anyone starts gasping and trying to bring me to my senses, check out some of these links-
There are lots of vegan websites and I subscribe to Vegetarian Times and the North American Vegetarian Society. It is possible to have a perfectly balanced plant-based diet. It’s also a lot healthier and kinder to the planet and the animals who share it with us. Don’t worry, there is no sermon forthcoming. I just don’t want to see a lot of warnings about hiking without meat.
The whole idea is exciting to me. I will be in a situation where each day will be consumed with survival and the most basic kind of life appreciation. I need that after living in a virtual prison for the past 3 1/2 years. My life has been a constant struggle since my split with my “dream man'” as he called himself. The struggle has evolved from a daily struggle to pay bills to a struggle with the point of it all. When I realized I was getting a small bonus I decided to save it for the Hike. The Hike was something I planned originally for my retirement in 4 years. I don’t think I can wait 4 years. I’ve been gasping for breath for a long time. My art and writing is suffering-as it always does when I start sliding down the Depression hill.
Then, it hit me. Why wait? WHY? We aren’t guaranteed anything. What if something happens in the next 4 years? What if something happens in the next 4 days? Do I want my last thought to be “Why didn’t I DO anything?” As the old saying goes, “If not now, when?”
I’m poor now. I’ll be poor 6 months from now. I’ll be poor 6 months after that. Why not hike the trail and be poor…with a real accomplishment under my belt.
So that’s how I made the decision. I’ve got to get through this Winter without any big expense (I’ve already had one…the effing computer monitor went out. But it’s early days. I can make this up.) And I will, dammit. Nothing is going to screw this up for me. I’m leaving for the trail in the Spring and I’ll be coming off once a week or so to resupply and make contact.
Already, my wonderful brother has offered to let me use his dehydrator so I can begin stockpiling dried food. It’s lightweight and nutritious. I’ll be packing boxes to be mailed to me along the trail so I can resupply at minimum expense.
I’m researching lightweight backpacking (another whole world out there on the Web) and reading everything. Other hikers’ experience can help me avoid costly mistakes.
Anyone who has advice, questions, suggestion, please comment. My current assignment has me out of my home for 5 days at a time so I won’t be able to read them until next weekend, but please, comment! And if anyone wants to join me, come on! (even for a day or so)
Think positive, outdoorsey thoughts!