An early morning wake up call, the setting still reads 'hike time.' 6:40 am was the time I set to wake up each morning on the AT if I wasn't already up. Seldom did I have to use it. This morning I set my site to get up to a favorite place, Lake Blanche. I wanted to be one of the first there so I could enjoy the solitude, also to hike down on firm snow/ice packed trail.
About a year ago I turned in my two week notice at work. It was the first time in decades leaving a job was my choice. It's a decision I've not regretted.
The AT instilled in me and brought many other things to light about my dreams, desires, and personality. The same people who expressed much concern and doubt are the same people who are amazed now that I kinda brush off the challenge as if it were nothing. It was nothing but, a life time of weekend trips strung together in one continuous adventure. Yet at the same time I'll admit there's a lot more behind it then that. I like stringing the tale to others I meet on the local trails. I find those who hike are more appreciative of the effort it took then those who don't.
As I sit here this morning, about 11:30, enjoying my hot tea. I kook across the lake and see one of my campsites I've used for local overnighters. I see the the Sundial foretelling the time of day. Dreams of new adventures dance in my head. Which long trail next? Which trail will push me beyond where the AT took me? How will I relate to the next doubters or employer who asks why?
I can't answer those questions today. I just sit here enjoying the moment for this is the moment that makes the effort to get from there to here worth while.