Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

I am rereading Walking Home: A Woman's Pilgrimage on the Appalachian Trail. It is a beautiful, poignant memoir of a woman hiking most of the Appalachian Trail, almost 2000 miles, to find herself. I was reminded of it during a conversation with friends, and I got all crazy wistful thinking about how much I would love to do this hike. Then I started reading the book. Don't get me wrong, I would still like to do it, but it is not the escape my imagination created. In the first 100 pages she gets hypothermia, loses 5 toenails, and has to hang out with military guys constantly having sex/homophobia/let's compare our junk conversations. I mean really. Crazy butch military guys? That's no vacation.

I admit that I was thinking more along the lines of the walking serenely through the woods, listening to birds, feeling the wind on my face as I fell asleep in my comfy sleeping bag (that weighed nothing but felt like a real bed....), stopping at picturesque places to rest and journal about my heavenly growth experience. Not so much of trying to outrun a tornado or being exhausted but having to keep going since you have no shelter and no food or having the flu or trying to outrun a tornado. Did I mention outrunning a tornado? eep.

I still want to do this hike. Part of it. Maybe. When my kids are old enough to go with me and enjoy it and think its fun. Or maybe when they have gone to college and I am trying to find myself again now that my nest is empty. Uh oh. I am getting all romantic about it again. Tornadoes. Think tornadoes. Think about having to train for it. eek.

I asked my partner if she would want to walk the trail too. She looked at me blankly and said, "Have fun. I'll be here." I guess not. Maybe she remembers the book better than I did.

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