“It was a very good end to the week.”
Since I used the very few pictures I took of my hike today in other posts, I will recycle an old photo from the entrance of Ward Pound reservation. It’s the end of the week and I couldn’t think of anything better to do to start the weekend. A peaceful and beautiful four miles!
“The trick in life is to find out where you belong. Once you find out where you belong, you will be happy there.”
“When you know and respect your Inner Nature, you know where you belong. You also know where you don’t belong.”
This is my place in the world. A place where I want to be. A place where I need to be.
“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”
“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”
Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in New York.
“On a hike, the days pass with the wind, the sun, the stars; movement is powered by a belly full of food and water, not a noxious tankful of fossil fuels. On a hike, you’re less a job title and more a human being. A periodic hike not only stretches the limbs but also reminds us: Wow, there’s a big old world out there.”
“Hiking and happiness go hand in hand or foot in boot.”
For the first time in about nine months I returned to the Brown Trail at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Although it was around 75 degrees, the canopy of the spring trees provided enough cover to keep things cool.
“Enjoyment of the landscape is a thrill.”
If this weather could go on for just a little bit longer that would be great. However, I am certain we will be punished soon enough with humid days and temperatures in the 90’s. With that said, this morning proved to be nice and cool, allowing me to get in a six mile hike through Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
“To travel, to experience and learn: that is to live.” –Tenzing Norgay
In a little under two years I will be eligible to retire from my job as a special educator. In NYS, teachers can retire at the age of 55 if they have 30 years in the system. Directly after high school I spent four years in the Marine Corps, then went to school and worked other jobs for several years before teaching.
So what does this mean? It means that my time in education is near an end. So what next?
As I mentioned in my previous post, my first goal in retirement is to thru hike the Appalachian Trail. As a matter of course, the first question that everyone always asks anyone with a similar goal is “Why?”
With that said, let’s get the “why” out of the way.
My first adult real life challenge came in October 1983 when I reported to Parris Island, SC for basic training with the USMC. Without a doubt, this was the most difficult thing that I had done in my life, both physically and mentally. To describe it as three months of pure hell would be an understatement!
After being discharged I began hiking more than I ever had and used this as my primary form of exercise during the months that were suitable for hitting the trail. The rest of the year was spent riding a stationary bike in an attempt to try to get and stay in shape. This remains true to this day.
So, when you look at my love of hiking and put that together with a lifelong desire to accomplish difficult tasks, a thru hike almost seems inevitable. Why not?
More on this as I continue my research of the AT and engage in some more self reflection.