The plan was to get out for at least three winter trips in the mountains. I purchased a sleeping bag in anticipation of this. Here I sit, writing this article as February progresses, and I have not been out since October 12th, 2019.

Weather was a factor. A larger factor was the passing of my mother after her long battle with dementia. This is also why I’ve been absent from the forums.

The rest of February will be spent completing the move of my step-father into our house.

Life happens.

The following has been a typical week for me, absent my life events, as I’ve progressed through the months without making it to the mountains.

Sunday. I can feel my body dissolving into a lethargic state. I go out for a 2-mile jog/walk. A little weight lifting. Some stretching.

Monday. After work. I stare at my backpack. Then I look inside. All the things I packed from a canceled December trip are still there. Whew.

Tuesday. Another jog. More stretching.

Wednesday. I pull my new trekking poles out (Christmas present), and extend them. I wonder how long they’ll remain shiny and new. Forever, if I don’t get back out there.

Thursday. Life events prevent me from exercising (this could be any one of the days during the week). Later in the evening I look at my tent. I want to pull it out, but that’s just silly. Instead I move it to another location in my closet. There, that’s better.

Friday. Again no exercising. I inflate my sleeping pad and place it under my sheets. I slept on it that evening. Seriously. I did this. Yes, I am a 52-year old man.
Two weeks later and it’s still there. It’s kind of comfortable.

Saturday. I go for a walk in my new hiking boots (another Christmas present). Merrells. They are nice. I’m pretty sure they will work great on those mountain trails. When I return from my walk I look at the sleeping bag I’ve never used. It’s hanging in my closet. I pull it down, pack it, and then throw my backpack on. All my water is still full. All my food is still there. I weigh my pack. No change since December.

Will I make it out in March? Maybe not. My hiking buddy is thinking mid to late April on a section of the AT in Georgia. The one we tried to hit at least three times this past winter. I’m worried about the AT thru-hiker bubble.

I will do that section. It’s morphed into a personal vendetta. If we have to hike SOBO against the grain of a hundred hikers, then so be it.

April. I’m ready for you.

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