The “start date” is closing in and I’m feeling pretty good about my pack and contents. Sure, I might need a thing or two once I start or find out I hate the underwear I’ve chosen but all of that will shake out over several days or even weeks when I get into the trail-lifestyle.
Now that the essentials are purchased, played with and packed I have the leisure time to contemplate how my days will most likely be spent. We all know that each day – except for the zeros – are spent putting one foot in front of the other, day after day, month after month. When I think about this, really think on it…I start to feel a little like…what in the hell is going to keep me motivated to keep going for months just walking through the woods?
I, like probably everyone else, have on an emotional or spiritual level glamorized the trail. We all know that leaving our relatively comfortable world to sleep in the woods and carry a loaded backpack everyday in all kinds of weather is not easy or glamorous. But those of us that enjoy being in the woods, hiking, might think we have escaped our life’s drudgery and entered a hiker-heaven. I know I do. At least on the surface. But when I consider doing this every day not just getting away on my ‘day off’, I feel that the bliss will soon wear away faster than the tread on my shoes.
I’ve been giving some thought to how I might give my days some form, some structure that might make me more comfortable (being a creature of habit) and also give me something, when the monotony starts to take it’s toll, to look forward to, some ideas with how to do things I enjoy throughout the day.
Part of the lure of thru-hiking is the freedom: unstructured, unscheduled, timeless freedom. But freedom, after days of seemingly limitless hours stretched between sunrise and sunset and nothing to do but keep on walking might start to feel a little like, well, drudgery ~ especially solo hiking and if I’m outside of a bubble for hours or days.
Considering things I enjoy doing or that I would like to get in the habit of enjoying again include some reading – time to escape into another time or world and characters with whom I want to spend some time. I can get lost in a well written story or sometimes finding out about the trials and accomplishments of historical or contemporary people is intriguing and encouraging.
Sometimes I need to write, usually just to get thoughts or ideas out of my head an on paper (or computer) but on the trail I do want to keep a journal. I have the blog/posts that I do want to write but that won’t be everyday. I’m thinking of keeping a paper journal – bound or maybe just pages mailed home intermittently so I’m not carrying the extra weight of a notebook. This, for me, is an easier form to jot down thoughts while walking or write more lengthy entries at lunchtime or at the end of the day. While I’m in town, recharging on multiple levels, I can enter my posts on The Trek or my blog, Karyn’s Domain.