Thursday, August 09, 2012

Take a Hike

“After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, and so on – have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear – what remains?

“Nature remains.”

-- Walt Whitman

I need to take a walk.  Have an adventure.  Spend some time in the woods.

Seattle is in my future, as I’ve detailed here previously.  Until then, I’ve made a few other plans.  The focal point of those plans is a hike on Vermont’s Long Trail, a 270-walk in the wilderness:

Built by the Green Mountain Club between 1910 and 1930, the Long Trail is the oldest long-distance trail in the United States. The Long Trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts-Vermont line to the Canadian border as it crosses Vermont's highest peaks. It was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail, which coincides with it for one hundred miles in the southern third of the state.

I take this journey for various reasons.  The main reason is recovery.  After going through what has seemed a prolonged period of loss, which includes the death of my father, the end of a 24-year relationship, the bitter breakup of a new relationship and the loss of my job, I want some fresh air.  I need a re-start.

I go into the woods somewhat battered, but not yet beaten.  I seek a better path and a stronger stride.

My goals for the hike include:

  • Re-evaluate my life and my career
  • Take time to discover/reconnect with the spiritual aspect of life that I have neglected for so long
  • Find the strength to overcome physical and mental challenges
  • Experience living in nature

And, finally:

Simply have an adventure – life is short, why postpone dreams until retirement?  That old diem needs to be carped before the tempus goes fugit.

After the hike I hope I find myself connected to new goals; more centered spiritually, more patient, self reliant and better able to accept conditions beyond my control.  I want to be a better outdoors-man.  I hope to simply be a better man.

I have more things to say about some of these goals as well as how I’m training for the trail, my hopes, my fears and, of course, my equipment.  I plan to start a blog devoted to the hike and hope to post updates when I can.  My hike will start in mid-September and I’ll be starting the new blog soon.

But for now, suffice it to say:  I’m going.

“ONE of my wishes is that those dark trees,
So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
Were not, as ’twere, the merest mask of gloom,
But stretched away unto the edge of doom.

 “I should not be withheld but that some day       
Into their vastness I should steal away,
Fearless of ever finding open land,
Or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.”

-- Robert Frost

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