HIKING -The Healing Trail
So what have I learned in six months since setting off on my own in an effort to expand my mind, body and soul on what I have often called the “healing trail of life”? This trail can and does heal from everything that ails you (mentally).
My Plan B retirement plan started out in a quest to hike from the Mexican border to the Canadian border on a trail known as the Pacific Crest Trail – 2,655 miles from point A to point B.
The original Plan A; (sailing off into the sunset) though it never fully materialized started out for me at about the age of fifteen.
Perhaps I am borrowing or have within me a sailing Captains soul and don’t yet realize it; at other times I thought it was a Spanish Conquistador soul. This plan called for (me) and then with (someone of the opposite sex) to sail down to Mexico and not stop till possibly finally one day reaching Fiji Island.
The heaviest of snow years stopped me on the trail and countless others, at the 702 mile mark of that trail; the location is known as Kennedy Meadows. Imagine that I hiked to get to this point with my last day on the trail hiking over 22 miles.
Only some of the hikers were patient and waited; others moved around the piled up snow obstacles and others like me didn’t want to wait long; somehow the stimulation just wasn’t there unless of course we kept moving. Not long after being home I hit the trail again. Only this time it was a very different type of trail.
This trail started as a result of my association with of all things an on-line Jeep four-wheeling club that I happened to come upon two years earlier when (we) first bought our 2002 Jeep Wrangler X to be used for rock crawling – a somewhat new sport at the time.
The Jeep Expedition club just happened to be leaving on an Arctic Expedition; with Gilligan (Russ), the Skipper (Mike) too; the millionaire (Woody) and his wife (Carol); the Professor (Tony) and Mary Ann (sorry, no Mary Ann for this episode; at least not yet – and now add yours truly Trawlercat!
(Sorry John & Tommy – you don’t show up till a later episode) God I used to love that show – Gilligan’s Island; I’d watch every episode and then get so pissed off at Gilligan for once again screwing up their way off that island. Perhaps this is the point of origin to my original Plan A.
Since then I’ve driven thousands of miles to arrive to where I am waking up this morning – Anchorage, Alaska? For anyone wanting to do the same thing – hike and then jeep, don’t- at least I don’t recommend it.
The hiking part took way more serious thought and planning. Plus it entertains the mind, body and soul before during and as I suspect long after the journey is done.
(Do this – but, don’t think it’s cheaper than the driving part cause it is not)
Something like thirteen months of total preparation time for the hike; compared to about a week to get me and the jeep ready for the driving part. The hike is both a mental and physical thing taking me something like nine months to put it all into action.
The driving part – since I’ve been driving most of my adult life it only took about a week to put that part together since the hiking already got me there. The initial itinerary was already down on paper before I joined the group so until about two days ago I just went with their itinerary.
The trail and the road taught me life lessons suitable for my remaining years in the same way that when we start out our working years we begin to acquire life work skills. By the time I got off the trail (not hiking any more) I hiked over twenty mile days. Imagine walking twenty miles today; then do the same thing tomorrow; the next day and so on.
About four days later stop at a trail town; take a zero day (non-hiking day) truly gorge down on things in life that average people take for granted like, food, hot and cold faucet water, still more food, a bug free climate controlled environment and you will still not get the true picture unless you to have experienced it.
Your body is now sculpting itself into this muscular sexy looking walking self. Eat all you want; you won’t gain any weight. Laugh, cry, play, talk to others like you with such deep emotion and passion you begin to see the child in you once again.
Life stresses, responsibilities all vaporize like the fog and the mist that ever so slowly rises every day when the sun’s rays strike and begin to wake you up to a new day.
Life is good! See you on the trail!
Posted by Trawlercat at 11:52 AM