View Full Version : When's the last time? A new hiker's letter of anticipation to his hiking buddies.

The Counselor
03-07-2011, 13:23
When’s The Last Time?

It won’t be long before we’ll be driving into the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, our packs loaded in the back. We’ll be craning our necks as we ascend the higher reaches of Appalachia assessing the elevation, studying the weather and wondering how the next week will play out.

When’s the last time your life rose and fell, if only for a week, according only to the rise and fall of the land, the sun, the rain? When’s the last time you traveled fifty miles by foot? When’s the last time you lived in the woods? When’s the last time you depended solely on your own back and what you carried on it? (And on the men you traveled with?)

As we park the vehicles for the last time at Cosby Campground, it won’t matter whether we’re prepared physically or mentally. Won’t matter whether we packed boots or low-cut shoes. Won’t matter whether there’s lightning or snow. Whether we’re sore or fresh. Because, regardless, early the next morning, we’re walking into the woods and we won’t walk out for a while.

If we’re lucky, we’ll encounter a bear, maybe a mother with cubs. See a huge timber rattler, a porcupine, (some squirrels for Glenn). Find copious bushes loaded with bursting ripe blueberries. Meet somebody along the way we’ll always remember.

We’ll hang our food, filter our water from streams and springs, forage for firewood. We’ll marvel at the views, of mountain vistas, of sunrises and sunsets and stars. We’ll share a little bourbon. We’ll sleep hanging between the trees.

We’ll have spent a bunch of time getting ready. Time reading, buying gear, poring over maps, comparing notes. And walking. (It’s just walking isn’t it?)

Maybe it’s not a "thru-hike." Maybe it’s not the most rugged trail in the world. Or the most isolated. Maybe it’s just a week walking and camping for four middle aged guys with families and mortgages and phones ringing and email piling up back at home. Maybe all that is true.

But when is the last time you mapped out a journey and simply walked into the mountains for a week?

And then climbed them?

We leave in fifty four days.
Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.
Lillian Dickson


Red Hat
03-07-2011, 19:09
nice post! I did it last year for six months... but I'm 63, widowed, kids grown, no mortgage, no job. Go for it and enjoy!

03-07-2011, 19:14
Godspeed and have a blast!:sun

03-07-2011, 19:27
your post captures a spirit we share. sometimes just green itself is all thats needed. its this dammed grey thats not. thank you.

03-07-2011, 19:46
Well written and inspirational.
I hope you all experience something very special that you will remember forever.
Enjoy your walk.