The plan was to get out for at least three winter trips in the mountains. I purchased a sleeping bag in anticipation of this. Here I sit, writing this article as February progresses, and I have not been out since October 12th, 2019.
Weather was a factor. A larger factor was the passing of my mother after her long battle with dementia.
The rest of February will be spent completing the move of my step-father into our house.
The following has been a typical week for me, absent my life events, as I’ve progressed through the months without making it to the mountains.
Sunday. I can feel my body dissolving into a lethargic state. I go out for a 2-mile jog/walk. A little weight lifting. Some stretching.
Monday. After work. I stare at my backpack. Then I look inside. All the things I packed from a canceled December trip, and canceled January trip, are still there. Whew.
Tuesday. Another jog. More stretching.
Wednesday. I pull my new trekking poles out (Christmas present), and extend them. I wonder how long they’ll remain shiny and new. Forever, if I don’t get back out there.
Thursday. Life events prevent me from exercising (this could be any one of the days during the week). Later in the evening I look at my tent. I want to pull it out, but that’s just silly. Instead I move it to another location in my closet. There, that’s better.
Friday. Again no exercising. I inflate my sleeping pad and place it under my sheets. I slept on it that evening. Seriously. I did this. Yes, I am a 52-year old man. Two weeks later and it’s still there. It’s kind of comfortable.
Saturday. I go for a walk in my new hiking boots (another Christmas present). Merrells. They are nice. I’m pretty sure they will work great on those mountain trails. When I return from my walk I look at the sleeping bag I’ve never used. It’s hanging in my closet. I pull it down, pack it, and then throw my backpack on. All my water is still full. All my food is still there. I weigh my pack. No change since December.
Will I make it out in March? Maybe not. My hiking buddy is thinking mid to late April on a section of the AT in Georgia. The one we tried to hit at least three times this past winter. I’m worried about the AT thru-hiker bubble.
But I will do that section. It’s morphed into a personal vendetta. If we have to hike SOBO against the grain of a hundred hikers, then so be it.
April. I am ready for you.