Much to my own disbelief, I’m planning to complete Vermont’s Long Trail for the second time in two years.
This sounds more outlandish than it actually is.
Unlike last year’s end-to-end hike from Massachusetts to Canada in twenty-five days, this year, I’m going to finish the section hike my husband and I started in the last century and have yet to finish.
We’d already hiked several southern sections of the Long Trail before we decided to link them together and continue north. Whenever we could shake free for a day or two, we’d head out with our packs and knock off another section. With three kids, two jobs and a homestead, this wasn’t very often.
As we progressed northward, the logistics became more difficult and the time commitment more significant. But we kept at it.
We didn’t stop until seven years ago, when we’d spent a precious and highly anticipated vacation week walking through ankle deep water in the rain when we weren’t scurrying off the ridge at the sound of thunder.
Tim aka The Mule resupplied us weekly last year, when I hiked all 273 miles, from end-to-end, with a college friend. He met us three times with clean clothes, brewed coffee and another installment of dehydrated food. Twice, he joined us for a weekend of hiking, including picking up where he and I’d left off section hiking together seven years before.
Between resupplies last year, Tim weeded the garden, watered the poultry, and talked about my trip to whoever would listen at his place of work. When I returned, he said he and a colleague planned to hike the Long Trail together.
I cheered them on.
But the reality is that they’re both physicians at Vermont’s smallest hospital, making it nearly impossible for them to take the same two weeks off, let alone three.
Tim decided instead to finish the last ninety miles of the Long Trail he hasn’t yet done.
I’m going with him.
Together, we’ll finish what we’d begun.
Oh, it will be good to be back on the trail again!
You can read all my Lessons from the Long Trail; and you can read and/or listen to over two hundred commentaries I’ve recorded for broadcast on Vermont Public Radio. And you can have all future posts delivered directly to your inbox by subscribing. You’ll receive an essay every Wednesday to educate and entertain in the middle of the week.