you’ll never get there.

I found myself on the Appalachian Trail last week with my buddy. In an effort to escape the city for the day, we caught a train out of Grand Central and traveled 2 hours upstate to Wassaic County. We checked online before leaving and were under the impression there’d be a bike rental and a nice trail to follow.

We step off the train surrounded by mountains and spot the paved trail right away. Unfortunately, no bike rental and the idea of walking on a paved trail is boring. We wanted distance and speed. After all, one sees plenty walking in Manhattan.

So we waited an hour for the train again and backtracked about 20 minutes to the Appalachian trail stop. The train puts you right on the trail. This was my first time hiking, and I loved how difficult it was. It was cool under the cover of the woods, and we’d packed plenty of bug spray.

We ran into another hiker on our way back. We’d been going for three hours, he’d been going for 2 months! Hiking from Maine to Georgia, following the trail all the way. He flew past us down the slippery rocks and broken bridges, but we met him again at the station. He’d never been to New York and decided to check it out, then he’d return the next day to pick up where he left off.

I’ll post a link to his journey as soon as I can find it again. He’s was a nice man who’d quit his job and decided now or never. Now I’m still talking about this hiker’s adventure and even made him into a character in my play. He’s fascinating to me.

I’d love to do what he’s doing, though I know I’d never manage to cover 25 miles a day so my journey would be more like a year. But I can’t imagine doing that. No one is stopping me. And other than making sure there’s enough money in my account to cover my loan payments, the trip journey is not really cost prohibitive.

See, I need to shower first thing every morning or I get cranky. I don’t like bugs, and I’m a fickle eater. If I survived a week I’d return altered. If I could hike for a week, I bet I could do it for at least a month.

The thing is, I have goals for myself. Tangible goals that have everything to do with my career, and nothing to do with challenging my spirit. So now I’m rounding out my short and long term goals because after meeting this hiker, D. Jackson, I realize that my life isn’t very adventurous. I knew that actually, but I am now quite conscious of wanting it to be more interesting.

Mind you, I’m not heading for the Appalachian with a map from Maine to Georgia in my sack. But I have always wanted to hike to the top of a mountain–and I should probably learn how to turn right on a bike. (Don’t judge me, I didn’t learn to ride till I was 21.)

Advertisements