Is this just fantasy? I’m dreaming, right?
Hat tip to Queen
But when I passed under this… this enigma… on Monday, it took everything within my power to stay the course and continue on to Alexandria and the conference schedule. Yeah, I knew that I would be “passing under” on the way. And on the way back. And I knew it would pull at me, but I had no idea it would pull this hard.
You see, the as yet un-trail-named eldest son of mine (and I) will be beelining it to Gatlinburg, TN this weekend to section hike the Appalachian Trail from, oh, approxiately Clingman’s Dome southbound for a total of around 27 miles.
The goal is to pick up our trail names. Because our intent is to thru-hike the AT within a few years in one push. But before then, our interim goals is to eat up trail miles on weekends and vacations from places like Morgan Monroe State Forest in southern Indiana, to…well, anywhere within reach that seems intriguing, and it would be nice to have trail names to blog for those excursions, too (we will probably thru-hike several smaller mileage trails before the AT).
Places like Starved Rock in Illinois which we conquered in February. Even landlocked horse trails like at Mississinewa and Salamonie Reservoirs in Indiana’s lakes region. We’re not picky and we’re not whiny, we ruck up and hike.
But tomorrow is staring me in the face and my dilemma is close at hand. I could finish my conference and retire to Casa Deal, the “hostel” where I bunk when I have work in the DC metro area and get a good night’s sleep on a plush mattress in one of the toniest zips in the US. (Right across the Parkway from the freakin’ River Farm Gardens!)…
Or I could point my car northwestward, plow Cabin John Parkway and 270 toward Frederick and plant the hybrid at the AT trailhead just north of Canada Hill Road and ruck the f*@k up like the hiker trash I am and bust it toward Harpers Ferry until the sun goes down. I could stretch my hammock beneath spring’s budding bows and eat cheesy bacon taters beneath stars strewn across the velvet sky and fall asleep to the sounds of the Maryland mountainsides.
And then scarf down a breakfast of maple bacon pop tarts ™ and instant coffee and double back to the car to be home safe and sound by Thursday midnight. Friday is a gimme day at work since I’ll have worked four 10’s. Still gotta go in and fill out my time sheet and turn in my travel receipts.
What say you, friends? Should I or shouldn’t I…