“Here I am, safely returned over those peaks for a journey far more beautiful and strange than anything I had hoped for or imagined. How is it that this safe return brings such regret?”- Peter Mathessien
I had a big experience yesterday that I plan to write more about soon in a longer piece. I received a most beautiful multimedia painting/collage from my good friend Joe, who spent over 100 hours on an image that I had of Mt. Shasta. The photo does not do it justice, but here it is.
It’s been almost two weeks since I came back from a month of backpacking the Long Trail in Vermont.
I reached for Ray Jardine’s Beyond Backpacking last night where the book opened to a brief, three page section entitled Re-Entry. I swear I don’t remember ever reading, or even seeing this chapter before. A lot of hiker are cynical about the Ray-Way, but I have slowly come to the place where I consider the guy a genius.
Jardine writes, “How does someone who has just come out of the woods after several months on the trail adjust back to the ‘real’ world ? My answer is: only superficially.”
Yep. The best I have worked out so far is this : one foot in and one foot out of this world.
I’ve come back from these long walks in different states, the worse being after my 2007 AT thru hike, where I plunged into a depression that scared me silly. I was much better after the 2010 PCT thru hike, and this time I actually feel closer to the” new improved version” I joke about.
I love my life, my, wife, my varied jobs, my family, my motorcycles, my neighbors, my friends- its a long, long list. I feel it all today, and am very grateful.
I am highly motivated and finally able to to simplify my life right now-
So far, Auntie Mame has helped me rid my room of over 50 pounds of clothing dating back decades.
I cleaned out the garage and the porch since I came back.
I took a big box of books to the Rockland library. More to come.
I am eating much better after consuming vast quantities of nutritional trash for the past month ( But it tasted so good!). I take great pleasure in harvesting vegetables from the weed-choked garden that greeting me back. I am gorging daily on tomatoes with mayonnaise/salt/pepper. I made a borscht last week where everything but the beef, broth, and sour cream came from the garden.
I have planned some hikes. I got out last Saturday and hiked over 11 miles in the Camden Hills.
I have a day hike up to the Bigelows scheduled for this weekend with Auntie Mame and Clarkie. Next weekend we do a backpacking overnight in the Whites with V8 joining us as well.
In October I plan to attend the American Long Distance Hiking Association’s Gathering in North Adams, MA.
Rolling out the wheelbarrow and stacking wood helps.