AT 2017: Recovery Walk in my Neighborhood

I wish I was a headlight on a northbound train

Sign on neighborhood greenway

For several months I have been focused on today, the day I was to step off from Springer Mountain, Georgia, and begin a 5-6 month walk to Mount Katahdin, Maine.

A week ago those plans were put on hold when I had surgery to repair a hernia.

DateTuesday, March 7, 2017
WeatherCloudy, changing to drizzle, then rain and wind, then drizzle again
Trail ConditionsAsphalt and concrete
Today's Miles4.8

Today, instead of carrying a 30 lbs. pack up and down mountains in Georgia, I walked without a pack on the relatively flat terrain of my neighborhood.

This was the third day in a row I've done that and the longest walk so far. I felt slow the first day out, but am beginning to feel my normal self on these walks.

I expect that soon I will be getting itchy to do bigger miles.

Greenway trail

I'm fortunate to have a nice walking trail near my house. A portion of it winds along a large pond before connecting to another, much longer greenway.

My plan for the next couple weeks is to walk at least five miles a day around my neighborhood or on other city greenways. If possible, I will walk a couple times a day.

Assuming I continue to feel strong and comfortable, I will extend those miles when possible, including longer day hikes in Frozen Head State Park, which is only 45-50 minutes from my house.

I'm scheduled to visit with the doctor for a follow-up exam on March 21. Until then I'm not supposed to lift more than 10 pounds, but if he gives the sign-off I will start carrying weight on my hikes. I'll continue adding miles until it's time to leave for Georgia.

I'm currently thinking, if all goes well, of starting the hike to Maine on April 3.

Me in the hospital

I got good care while I was in the hospital last week. The procedure only took about 30 minutes and I was headed home about six hours after I had arrived.

If I were given a choice of leaving today or leaving April 3, I'd still prefer today. I had spent a lot of time thinking about a hike strategy and working out a schedule. I wanted to leave in early March so I could stay on the front edge of the hiker bubble, not the middle, and to get out of the south before the hottest temperatures of the summer creep in.

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that I was disappointed I wasn't able to start my hike today as planned. Still, there isn't any point in dwelling on that.

When the choice of leaving today was taken away I started rethinking everything. In the end, I decided to hope for the best, that I could leave in early April, and use the extra time I have for more preparation. Besides getting in more training, I'm trying to complete a few tasks around the house and making some improvements to this website. I've also picked up some extra freelance work to do.

I was ready. I'll be ready again.

The sun will shine in my back door some day
The sun will shine in my back door some day
March winds will blow all my troubles away

I wish I was a headlight on a northbound train
I wish I was a headlight on a northbound train
I'd shine my light through the cool Colorado rain


"Nothing to tell now. Let the words be yours, I'm done with mine."ref.