As mentioned on the first post in this blog, one of my life ambitions is to hike the Appalachian Trail. I've done small bits, but living 2,000+ miles away makes any real contact with the trail a rarity. I've read many accounts of the trail, and follow on-line discussion groups. I often think of those times when I've been on the trail, and wistfully plan future hikes there.
Although I will do the entire trail someday, it isn't my reality right now. I sometimes worry that getting to preoccuppied with things that are well outside the moment risks overlooking the the joy of the day.
So, I try to focus at times on "my" Appalachian Trail. This isn't the actual trail, but a state-of-mind experienced by enjoying comparable experiences nearby. For example, there's a woodland trail that runs about 10 miles or so along a river near my house. There are still bits I haven't done. This weekend I went with my children to one stretch of the trail, and it was wonderful in the sun. The leaves weren't out on the trees yet, but it's been unusually dry, so the trail was in great shape. It was indistinguishable from the Appalachian Trail in March.
Later, I returned to the trail for a run. One hour out, and one hour back. I probably did around 13 miles altogether. I wore a bum bag for the first time, and carried my phone, a drink, a torch (flashlight), two cookies, and some jelly babies (soft chewy candy). It was beginning to get dark at my turn-around time, so I used the torch on the way home.