First, thank you to so many family and friends who expressed concern and caring for me. Please know that I am feeling much better. This is crazy stuff isn’t it? I debated whether to tell that whole story but I don’t want to start faking this stuff now. Anyway, I can’t wait to get back on the Trail but I’m taking a couple of days off as you know at the advice of many people- to include the doctor.
Every morning when I start walking on the Trail I take a physical inventory of my body starting with the broken foot bone that never healed correctly because I didn’t see a doctor for three weeks, the smashed toe knuckle that I slammed into a rock in Hawaii, the calf tear from the great seagull chase, the quadriceps muscles I wrecked on the Amicalola Falls stairs, the lower back issues from three parachute accidents in the Army, the mid-back muscle tear from hanging a curtain in a giant hallway one day, the hand and shin numbness and crushed bicep from the time I flew out of the back of a pickup truck that flipped over on the highway, my left shoulder replacement, the arthritis in my thumbs, the Lyme Disease effects, and of course my mental state which is often imbecilic. (As evidence for this last proposition I offer the fact of my current venture.) All of these things come and go as you have noticed; however, really, every day above ground is a good day.
I am reminded, however, that I am driving a vehicle like the 1926 Hudson passenger car, converted into a truck, that the Joad family nursed along Route 66 in the book The Grapes Of Wrath. (This is my favorite novel. It’s John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel about an Oklahoma family fleeing the unemployment and despair of the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. They travel to California in search of better prospects and, along the way, the journey says everything about the human condition and our collective soul.) They took extremely good care of that vehicle as it was their lifeline.
So. I am driving a 1959 Jalopy with a Carfax report an inch thick. However, if the Joads can make it to California, maybe I can make it to Maine- substituting The Appalachian Trail for Route 66.
Of course my timeline is way off from what I originally projected in terms of mileage and distance due to the various calamities I’ve managed to climb into along the way- some of which I haven’t even posted due to volume issues.
I am very concerned about that as I expected to be in Gloucester for the August beach season- sitting on a beach with Memory. I talked with her at length last night about this and she’d prefer I not worry about that, take my time and do things at my own pace- which I appreciate. (She knows that there are plenty of men who are happy to sit on the beach with her if I can’t make it.).
But it’s a tough adjustment to see things going so slowly. Well, maybe I’ll make up some time in the Middle Atlantic States but I suspect an argument with a bear will probably delay me further at some point. We’ll see.
Now back to some positive things. Once I get back on the Trail after a couple of days I will reach the southern terminus of the Great Smoky Mountains. This is reputed to be a quite beautiful long stretch, not without its elevation challenges of course, but with manifold natural rewards also and I will try to get many great pictures and movies so we can all enjoy it together.
By the way, I spend very little time on this Blog since I can record things on my phone and send them to Memory and she does a lot of work getting things formatted and posted. (I am developing the biggest crush on my Secretary. Scandalous!)
I will be always getting the full experience myself by stopping and resting at various peaks and fantastic views. There I will ponder the meaning of life or, better yet, I will be able to think of: nothing!