Planting the Seed(s)

I first started hiking and camping with my brother Lou in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. We spent some time in the Catskills, the Adirondacks and the Whites.

On Algonquin
On Algonquin

The majority of our forays were in winter. When people asked why, the response was, no bugs and no people! Or, maybe the inadequate heating system in our bedroom better acclimated us to the colder environs. Who know!

For those who hail from or are familiar with the Binghamton area in the time period noted above, who can forget the Eureka annual tent sale and the Nippenose Gamblers Sales! That’s right, find a tent (a Timberline no less) with a misplaced glue line and save 50%!

Then came the kids, and all of those associated activities. Although we did do some car camping, the majority of available free time was spent at dance recitals, school activities and sporting events.

In 1998 Bill Bryson released A Walk in the Woods. A terrific read from any number of perspectives, it definitely rekindled the memories of hiking, camping and being out in the woods. Should an attempted thru hike of the Appalachian Trail be added to the bucket list?

It took Robert Redford many years to finally bring an adaptation of Bill Bryson’s book to the big screen. Since we both had enjoyed the book immensely (and Diane is a huge Robert Redford fan) when the film finally arrived, Diane and I had no choice but to head to the local theater.

It was on the way home from the movie, we’re driving along, talking about the film, when Diane goes, you know, if you don’t find a job by April, why don’t you attempt a thru of the Appalachian Trail? I know you always thought about it and the window on your ability to actually complete it is closing.

Although that last comment stung a little bit (the truth is like that sometimes) it was a gracious gesture on her part, and the thought took hold.

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