I know it has been a long while since I have written. I wasn’t out hiking due to the weather, so I didn’t have anything to write about, nobody gave me any ideas, and if I am being completely honest, I was feeling a bit burned out with all of the planning going on. So I took a break. But I figure it’s time to get back into the swing of writing, so that it becomes habit BEFORE my trip, so here are a few updates.
I have been getting in my typical “around town” walks, but have been limited on how much actual trail time I can get. For one, it gets dark nearly before I leave work and I have no desire to become a “mountain rescue” patient. I did walk through Gettysburg Battlefield just before the holidays, and got in a couple walks while at my parents.
My parents recently moved to a new house, and it is about a quarter mile from a very nice Rail/Trail. If you are unfamiliar, old railroad tracks that are no longer in use are ripped up, and a paved “trail” is put down. The Rail/Trail is open to any non-motorized users, such as hikers, bicycles, and cross country skiers. The R/T near my parents goes right through a Christmas Tree farm, and made for a very serene setting around the holidays. And it also let me get in a good 4-5 mile walk a couple times while on vacation.
I am getting there. This is a slower process than I had expected. Thanksgiving weekend, I let my bike club President know I would be leaving. He took it a lot better than I expected. I was worried he would feel like I was abandoning him, especially with all of the event planning we have coming up in the next 18 months, but he was very positive and had lots of questions. I hope he continues to offer me his support, because his approval is one of the ones I need to mentally be ok with walking away from everything. I notified the remainder of the bike club this past weekend, and received the typical (aka, expected) jokes and comments, but overall support.
While on vacation for Christmas, I was able to let a few more friends and family know. My aunt and cousins offered immediate support and well-wishes. My “second family” was enthusiastic to learn about my trip, also offering well-wishes. A family that befriended me years ago when I worked at Boy Scout camp, whose son has become like a little brother to me, was EXTREMELY excited to hear about my plans, as I knew they would be. All of the support has been great, and I cannot wait to make my trip more public.
Santa was very nice to me this year, providing me with a bunch of new gear. I will write a full post on that gear soon. For now, I just have some general thoughts on gear.
While I had originally thought my Oboz hiking shoes were going to be spot-on for me, I am starting to second-guess that decision. There is nothing physically “wrong” with the shoes, they aren’t falling apart or anything, but I have started to notice some pain just behind the ball of one foot. Unfortunately, it is also the foot that was associated with being non-weight bearing for over 3 months, so I am worried there might be something else going on. I essentially have few choices – go see a podiatrist and make sure there is nothing wrong with the foot; ignore the pain and just keep plodding on with what I have, acknowledging that I can get new footwear after the first week or two on-trail; or take a road trip to one of the outfitters who are known for their footwear knowledge. I go back and forth with which way is best.
During my Christmas hikes, I took note that my favorite stocking hat is NOT windproof. Which means I will need to find one that is windproof AND warm. Good thing Santa got me an REI Gift Certificate!
If you have any comments, advice, or ANY TOPIC SUGGESTIONS, please use the comment box below or use the Contact Me page up top.
Until next time, remember to “Spin the Compass.”