Sunday, April 29, 2007

It's Official!

It's spring and I have been bitten by the hiking bug. I live 2 miles from the Appalachian Trail and am considering how much of it I'm going to attempt to hike and in what time frame. I'm a goal-oriented person, so this stuff really matters to me.

I hiked the closest portion of the AT today. My husband drove me down to the next county to leave my car and then drove me back to the trailhead. My dear husband is anti-hiking. He hiked a local trail with me once last year and kept asking if the treadmill wouldn't be an easier way to take a walk. Bah!

The NY AT trail maps are out of print. I ordered what I think are the right maps from the library. We shall see. I have visions of maps and pushpins and coloring in the portions of the trail I've hiked. Georgia to Maine is 2,175 miles. That's daunting. But the 88 miles in New York seem do-able.

The reasons I feel like an official hiker today are several:

1. It was threatening some serious rain today and I went anyway. No pics since I didn't want to risk the camera in the gloomy weather.

2. I signed the trail register. I'm officially part of the tradition now. Cool, huh? They wanted to know my trail name -- anyone have suggestions on what that should be? I hope to sign many more registers and would love to have an awesome trail name. Higheredhands is the name I use for most things, but doesn't seem nearly cool enough for a 'trail name'.

3. Today for the first time, I tended to, um, *cough* personal business *cough* on the trail. Well, not on the trail exactly. Maybe 50 feet back from the trail. Behind some serious cover. Does this make me an official hiker? I think it does. And in case you are wondering, yes, for a short time I wished I was a man.

4. While I was on the trail, I noticed a baggie of trail mix hanging from a tree branch in the middle of the path. One might think that the last hiker dropped it, but no. There's a tradition of 'trail angels' leaving food for the next hiker. Knowing that makes me feel oh-so-official.

I'm looking for hiking buddies. Let me know if you are interested in covering some miles with me.

On a completely different topic -- Happy 16th Birthday, darling daughter!!! And to the rest of you.... stay off the sidewalks. She gets her learner's permit tomorrow.


The Calico Cat said...

I was contimplating driving to the AT as well this past weekend... (I am close enough to the Maryland portion... I did part of the VA portion a couple years ago.)

Marla said...

i'd love to hike with you....let's set a date! :)