I decided to thruhike again! Not that this is probably a big surprise to anybody who ever met me. Unfortunately, I'm not doing it anytime soon. Starting date is set for March 1, 2020. Only 2694 more days! Unless I lost my job, in which case I would go ASAP. But for some reason my job has been oddly stable despite the economy, and as far as I know I'm in no danger of losing it any time soon.
More's the pity.
Probably the only people who can empathize are the former thruhikers or multiple offenders, but I'm thinking about things I'd do differently. (Note to self: Look up post about things you'd do differently, written immediately following last thru.) Like I'd hike the approach trail. I never had the patience for it before. I think I will by 2020, though. I want to take the trail more deliberately. I know it probably didn't seem like I was in a mad rush the first time, but I was going as quickly as I could. I'd rather give myself an unlimited window to finish so I could go just as slowly as I wanted.
Sometimes the terrain sets its own limits on you. You can't stop if there's no water and no place to lay your aching bones. But other than that, limitless.
What else? Well, ideally I'd find some other slowpoke to hang out with. Company is nice. My lowest days on the trail have been about loneliness, not about weather or my feet or the fact that I'm sick of all my dinners. I do like my alone time, but it is really nice to see a friendly face. I realize that some people never spend a night alone on the trail, but that has not been my experience. AT ALL.
I think I'd explore the towns a little more. One of the awesome parts about thruhiking is getting to see small town America. I loved meeting people all up and down the trail, and visiting the businesses along it too. Maine showed me that Whoopie Pies are in fact good. (I had doubts based on our honeymoon trip to Freeport.) Pennsylvania had such a unique run down Germanic feel. I want to see it more. Again.
I'd love to fix all my health problems before my next trip, but that seems wildly unlikely. The cards dealt to me involve defective digestion and degenerative disk disease. I work around them as much as I can. I really seriously hope that I can eat wheat products again in the future, because A) they're really hard to avoid, and b) I want pizza.
I might be able to lose weight, but I've been working on that for all of my adult life and then some, and it doesn't appear to have made any difference. Perhaps I should just buy a voluminous scarf and go with the babushka look. Perhaps adopt an accent.
Oooh, you know what's good about planning so far in advance? SO MUCH GEAR. I'm certain that everything I have now will be worn out by then. I'll have to buy all new ultralight stuff! Eeee! Although if I lost my job that would be less exciting.
Oh that reminds me. Today was Eddy's 90,000 mile service. It took him nearly 10 years to get there so more things needed to be replaced than if it had only taken a year. Still, it's going to cost more than he's worth. Sigh. But still less than a new car, and he's still plenty driveable. Sooner or later I should do something about the marks where he was shot, though. That's a little more trashy than called for, even in a ten year old car.