Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Journal: When is Yoga harder than the Appalachian Trail?

Now that I am off the trail I have to create exercise activities. Where I am sojourning I can only build so much exercise into my daily activities. I visit the grocery store daily with a short walk a mile away. I bicycle to destinations as much as possible. But I don't always have enough destinations! This is not the reason I go to yoga. But it is one reason I bike to yoga.

So here I am biking to yoga on a cool morning. Did I say cool? I meant cold. At least I find it cold riding for six miles in 40 degrees Fahrenheit in shorts and a T-shirt. Well, comparatively. You see, I was surviving but not comfortable for those miles as I spasmed my hands on the handlebars to keep them from freezing. It works; on the trail you learn that these things are livable. But I was not at all prepared for my destination. Because my destination was . . . drumroll please . . . hot yoga. Can you say Whoops?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Journal: 234 Miles: Stage Two: Hike Like a Madman

If you missed Stage One, read it here.

Stage Two: Hike Like a Madman

It's late in the day at the Allenberry. Elvis and I have eaten dinner and now we're each on the phone. Several days ago I made phone calls and let folks know that I have decided to complete my thru hike in Harpers Ferry. Sweet is going to meet me in Harpers on Wednesday and we'll celebrate.

But I have an itch. A two part itch. First, with my cell phone out of commission and without regular internet access, I can't meet up with my mid Atlantic friends. Second, my friendship with Sweet is such an integral part of my hike and of my life that I want her to be there when I stop. She's agreed, but it sounds like there may be scheduling complications. 

I look at the mileage. Ninety-seven point nine miles to reach Harpers. And that doesn't include the mile I have to walk to get back to the trail. If I break all my hiking records I can make it in three days for a Saturday arrival. I call up Sweet. She can make it; the timing works better. I call my parents and let them know I have gone insane.

Journal: 234 Miles. Stage One: Loafing

Two Hundred and Thirty-four Miles to Harpers Ferry

Stage One: Loafing

Hurricane Sandy didn't do much harm to the trail near Palmerton. Lots of little trees fell across the trail, but because only little trees are growing there, only little trees fell. During our hike out of Palmerton Silly and I earned our merit badges for trail maintenance by removing branches upon branches and quite a few small trees. With practice, clearing the trail is little hindrance to hiking. The key is to bring the movement of the trekking pole into your stride and flick the trees and branches off the path in tune with the movement of your body. It becomes a game and is endlessly entertaining. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Journal: Trails Go Ever On

What am I doing here? No, what am I doing HERE?

I have hiked all 2184 miles of the Appalachian Trail and I am once again in a place with phones, computers, and internet access. All of those were lost to me for a week and a half on the AT. Those stories will come later. The upshot is that I lost contact with just about everyone and flew by night through the last 200 miles of the AT. And for the last 97 miles of the AT, I hiked by night too.

But I reached Harpers Ferry on November 10th and met my friend Sweet who came to pick me up. We held a quiet and perfect celebration. 
My friend and partner for 1200 miles came to celebrate with me.

My feeling on finishing the trail was one of reflection and contentment. As I organize my thoughts, memories, and photos, I will be posting here - particularly the missing post on my concluding week. And I will try to explain why I am not hiking south to Georgia after all.

The trail never ends. We just change how we walk it.
Merry trails and Love to all.