This morning, WE STARTED OUR ADVENTURE! Hubby is driving back to Ohio after dropping us off at the trail.
We plan to hike 5 miles today—headed for a shelter with an area beside it to pitch our tent. After a hectic final week of preparations and last minute errands, it will be nice to step into life in the slow lane. There is something quite attractive about spending two months at slow speed, walking in the woods.
While planning for this trip, we have often been asked what we are most looking forward to on our long-distance hike. Here are a few things that are common to both of us:
- We love ADVENTURE!
- We relax and revel in spending TIME IN NATURE.
- We look forward to extended TIME FOR THINKING.
- This will be good for our HEALTH: stress relief, exercise, possible weight loss, relaxation.
- We love BEAUTIFUL SCENERY—and walking in the mountains should provide plenty of this!
In addition, I am looking forward to hearing the stories of those we meet, having the opportunity to practice living in the moment, and enjoying a break in regular routines. Daughter wants to learn more about nature (especially weather observation and tree identification). She spends hours drawing fantasy people and creatures and anticipates improving her skills at landscape drawing.
We have also been asked what we anticipate to be most challenging about our trip. We have tried to plan in advance what alternatives we have in case of bad weather or injury or illness. In general, backpacking on the Appalachian Trail is safer than driving across town in a busy city. (I will write more about this topic in a future post… UPDATE: you can read about this HERE.) Our concerns tend to be much less concrete.
I wonder about the following: Will spending two months together, day in and day out, strain our relationship? How will both of us really do with limited internet availability? Will we be totally and completely sick of the types of food we can easily buy and carry with us? What if one or both of us HATE hiking for this long? On the other hand, what if we LOVE it and don’t want to head back home to a sedentary, indoor life?
Here are daughter’s concerns in her own words: “Having to live with my mom for two months. Trying to figure out how to start a fire (or rather, help mom not burn the whole forest down!) All the walking for two months straight will be challenging because I’m not the most in-shape. I wonder how long it will take before I want to turn around and head back—an hour? A couple of days?”
As a reminder, we will be off-line until we reach the next town—in about a week. Thanks for following our adventures! We appreciate your encouragement and your support.