Well, friends, I think I’ll finally put the wraps on this trip. For those just tuning in, you can start at the beginning of this latest two-week odyssey by going here and then just clicking “Next” when your ready to move on to the next day. You’ll figure it out. Or you can just keep scrolling down to wherever you left off and go from there. Or you could just say “I don’t want to read anymore of this garbage! ” and move on. Believe me, I would understand. I’m not the most informative or entertaining guy!
I left off on the last post by letting you know that Deep Woods and I cut the AT hike short due to the forest fires. We decided to come back next year and fill in all of the gaps, including the short section he needs to do in the Smokies, before we turn North again. Sucks that we won’t be crossing into Virginia next year but I suppose we’re not supposed to cross into Virginia next year. Must be some purpose behind it. We’ll see.
After Deep Woods left for home, the trip turned into something like a Twilight Zone episode. I’ll spare you the minutia, but let’s just say I was going absolutely stir crazy. Caught up with some hikers in Hot Springs, including “007”, but otherwise not much else. Crazy! We did do an overnight trip on the AT over Max Patch, which turned out to be spectacular! Here’s a few pics from that trip (click on to enlarge):
Loonie took TONS of amazing pics that we haven’t even really looked at yet. In the future we’ll dump the crappy “Favorites” I’ve got here and you’ll see for yourself. Just haven’t had time.
One thing that there wasn’t much of on this trip was solitude. I’ve done this thing enough times now to know that your not going to get a lot of that this time of year on the AT….especially where we’re at on the trail to this point. It’s not like you’re in the middle of NYC but your not going to get the feeling your Tom Hanks in “Castaway” either. But that’s part of the whole experience. Deep Woods and I have had the opportunity to meet and hike with so many fascinating people from all over the place.
We do get to spend a bit of time throughout each day just hiking by ourselves and that is always welcome. To just walk along and hear nothing but our footsteps and the birds and the wind through the trees. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we don’t. When we do talk, it is often about how fortunate and blessed we are for our wives and families. If it wasn’t for Deep Woods, I very well could have lost all of those. He played his own small part in pulling me from the abyss.
Having said that, sometimes you need a little solitude. 2012 was a transformative year for me. 2012 was the year I set down the bottle and went for a walk in the mountains. All by myself. I had a LOT of talks with the mountains. I had a LOT of talks with God. I cursed the mountains until I figured out that I couldn’t beat the mountains. I just had to let go. Turns out that it was no different with God. I haven’t had a drink since.
One day I’ll return to the mountains…just me. I’m sure there’ll be times that I’ll want to curse the mountains all over again. But they’ll still be there, waiting for me to just let go.
More to come …