As you might have noticed, I have not posted many trip reports during the last 3 months or so. It has been a very hard summer, and I haven’t been hiking very much or biking for that matter.
Back in June, when I was standing on the Appalachian Trail leading to Clingman’s Dome, I pulled out my phone to take a picture and for the first time in quite a few days, I had cell service…thus receiving all my texts and voicemails over the past few days and I had one from my dad asking me for a favor the next day. Of course, that day had already come and gone by the time I got the voicemail; however, once we got home, I learned my dad had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. To make a long story short (it is still too painful), my dad passed away just a couple of weeks after that. I have been just living in a daze since. At the same time, we had to put one of our dogs down as well (we always said he was just like grandpa and he too had cancer).
With that being said, fall is here and it is very hard to move on, but I am slowly trying to get back into the hiking season (for us being through the winter). We have made a few changes to our gear, which I’m not going to address in this post. Seems kind of sacrilegious but nonetheless….if all goes well, we should be hitting the trails quite a bit over the next few months. A lot of places to see.
Since I was in Virginia, I have been obsessed with the Appalachian Trail and with all that has happened in the last few months, you don’t know how many times I wanted to just walk away from life and start hiking. It takes every thing I have to get up every day and go to work. I even told my boss if I could figure it out, I’d be gone…. What better place to be to do some serious thinking.
My dad is who I got my sense of adventure from. He loved to travel. It was nothing for him to just up and take off, driving somewhere in the United States. He loved Virginia. I asked him if he could go somewhere again, where would it be, and his response was Virginia. I loved Virginia too. That was my favorite part of our trip in June. Not the Smoky Mountains, not Tennessee, it was Virginia and the irony is Virginia was the one place we had not planned on going to. You never know how things are going to go.
I’m hoping (if I don’t run away in the meantime) that our trip in the summer will take us back to Virginia but perhaps starting a little further north than we were last year. Until I can manage to hike the whole Appalachian Trail, I would like to at least see some different parts of it in the meantime…. kind of like an appetizer. I have the Grayson Highlands on my agenda soon, maybe some parts of Maine so that I can get an idea of what I would be facing on a thru-hike.
I think I’m up to having read about 7 books now by thru-hikers, etc. I even purchased the AT Guide by David Miller just so I could look at.
It’s so very hard to move on with your life and losing a parent is a natural occurrence in life, but my dad was the one person in life that I could always count on. I knew as long as he was alive, that if I ever got into a pickle, I would have him to count on. He was a great dad and a great grandpa. We miss him dearly (**I**)
Enough of the sad stories, happy trails… Tammy @ tammyonthetrail