Getting ready to leave blues

“You are going to come back as a feral individual. I know that’s going to happen”, said my wife Marcia yesterday.

The last three days before my thru-hike attempt of the CDT were anxiety-producing and tiring. There is no downloadable list for life extraction.

My departure punch list grew daily, and I definitely saved the best and worst for last. The best was when we split up a pile of dry firewood for Auntie Mame to use on these last cold spring Maine days. The worst was cleaning out the composting toilet at the Hobbes camp. At least I am getting quicker at it. Definitely a rubber gloves situation.
Another unique chore was applying a couple of thin layers of Shoo Goo to the exposed toe stitching on my New Balance hiking boots.

20130416-123401.jpg
I believe I’ve stockpiled enough to get me through, thanks to my brother Roy and New Balance.

I’m dealing with three flights to El Paso Today. I just learned that my Maine Driver’s license expired. I didn’t have that on the checklist. Soon I won’t be Tom Jamrog, and will revert to my trail alter ego, Uncle Tom.

Is the unsettling feeling in the pit of my stomach my fear of the open trail ahead or is it perhaps me already missing my rooted connection to my family, wife, friends, neighborhood, and the little black dog’s perpetually hopeful eyes?

Part of me is embarrassed to whine about having to deconstruct the life I’ve led for the past three years to haul a relatively small backpack of objects across America where I’m likely I to spend some portion of the next 156 days being lost.

Who am I to grumble about how difficult it is to walk away from a good life, when most people are struggling ?

There are deep threads holding
Us where we are right now.
Freedom extracts it’s price.
I hope that I have enough
Inside to see me through.
What will
I be like if
I can keep walking
across America
for 5 months?

About tjamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
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4 Responses to Getting ready to leave blues

  1. best wishes. Lif eis simpler on the trail. I will be there looking over your shoulder, walking with you if only mentally.

    please share with Auntie Mame my old advice to my daughters: “Boys are like dogs. they will behave but only if they are trained, and to maintain their training you must actively take charge of their discipline. control their food and they will do anything you want them to do.”

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  2. jorysquibb says:

    good luck uncle tom….we’re just a few steps behind you!….jory

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  3. Pat Burglar says:

    See you out there on the trail UT! I’ve put my whole life into storage this time so the preparation has been double trouble. I envy you your support team – lucky you! (and hello Auntie Mame).

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  4. jory squibb says:

    Hi Tom,

    Brenda Squibb here….hope you are off to a smooth start on your newest hiking adventure. Interestingly we had a guest at our knitting group last night, Elizabeth Macalaster who just published a novel based on her husband’s hiking of the PCT. He had worked for the FBI for 21 years I believe and needed a transition activity. He chose the PCT. I suggested Elizabeth might want to be in touch with you as someone who has a very active weblog that is of interest to hikers and outdoorsy folks in general. She may be in touch about spreading word about the book. I bought a copy as a birthday gift for Paul Fuller, local friend who has hiked both the AT and PCT a couple of times. Again, all the best to you Tom, Brenda

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