Monday, June 15, 2009
The backpacking trip was... unique. I am proud to have survived, considering how out of shape I am. It was very challenging, and very much a learning experience.
I learned that I'm getting old, and I learned that my son Nick has become a man. I'm calling him Mr. Muscles, because he could run up the hills with all of the gear, smiling, and I walked at a turtle's pace, red in the face and with my heart pounding.
I learned that the part of backpacking that I like is a very small part of what backpacking is actually about.
I like the part about packing the gear, figuring out what I need to survive, figuring out how to be comfortable with what I can bring, and how to bring practically nothing and still live well.
I also like the part about seeing so much nature -- beautiful scenery, beautiful flowers, plants, trees, turtles, stuff like that.
And I like the time to be alone with my thoughts, in the peace.
I learned that the part of backpacking I don't really like, but which may be the most character building, seems now to be the real nature of backpacking, which seems to me now to be all about endurance and determination. And I'm not overly determined. It seems like it's mainly about being determined to make it up that next mountain, and dragging my sorry butt up that trail in spite of the fact that I'm really tired and can't go any further. Now I think it's more about making the trip, one step at a time. In spite of the fact that the turtles really could have passed me if they were headed in the same direction.
I learned that when I make decisions, I almost always err on the side of being way too cautious. But I really don't think that I can help that, and I'm not sure how to tell if it's a bad thing.
I already knew that I'm a control freak... I learned that if I let someone else be in control, and they do something differently than the way I want to, it isn't the end of the world. I can get over it, and a lot of times it really doesn't make the slightest difference anyway. It might even be way better than my ideas. Or maybe not, but it doesn't matter either way. (I learned this lesson in politics a long time ago, you'd think I would have been able to apply it to life.)
I posted a few more pictures, but it's REALLY late now. So I might write more about the trip tomorrow. Like about the pouring rain, and the mud, and the middle of the night one mile evacuation hike away from the storm that never happened.
Or I might not; it really depends.