Sometimes those who don't backpacking or those new to the concept of footing across the country, have question my saneness and have found it a bit perplexing when they hear me refer to "The Trail" as if it were a living, breathing thing. Though it's very common to see me go Camping or Rving, Fishing, Hunting, Gardening. I've grown up camping, small trail hiking and lots of fishing and hunting and somewhat a lifestyle of outdoors's. Coming from family and friends whose spend a lot of time outdoors.
But with this being said, not many or None have ever attempted Backpacking, or Long Distant Hiking. Now that I am in my 50s, for some reason, backpacking suddenly seems very appealing. A new frontier for me...especially as a female. The whole concept has been a huge help with gaining confidence. Confidence in choosing equipment, and in what I can accomplish.
Footing the Path of God. It's hard to explain the almost-instant connection I found on the trail itself, the newfound freedom I came to embrace of this love of the trail and the act of Backpack Hiking. I think sometimes people start out focused on something differ than what its ends up to be. The " just doing the Trial" the "How fast can I do the miles and get to the end" or the "How much lbs. will I shed." Soon was different for me. My quest to me became to explore its rugged beauty. For me, I soon learned it's so much more!
It's amazing how many people will tell a well into her 50s, woman face to face that; Your too old. You're too sick or injured. Or it's too dangerous and there's no way you can or should start backpacking this "late" in life.
I was asked why, Distant Backpacking? Why risk danger or injuries or self-harm or falling off a cliff? See I have Cerebellar Ataxia. And yet CBA has never stopped me from much that I set my mind to, and most days most people never even know I have it. But somedays when out of remission, I do look drunkard, LOL. Earning me my nick name Circles. :)
So, my response was.
It's just something I want to do. To try. Not really a Bucket list... and yet its kind a is.
On my days out there, I found so much more… All of a sudden, I found time to speak to, and listen to, God! The time alone allowed me time to reflect, to become closer with nature, time to have thankfulness of my blessings. I soon felt great at destressing as I unpacked my own rocks. To appreciate the greatest untouched scenery and the raw scenes of wildlife. I soon realized just how much I was working on physical and mental health. Hiking had awakened my soul and made me want to live more freely. It makes me happy and want more. And has showed me how to be a Better Me so I can be a better person to others in my life. Is this enough reason to go hiking? For me, Most certainly not a bad reason!
The Ouachita Trail will be extra special to me always. Being my first footprint. I've tested my limits far beyond just a normal camper. And going solo was big!
But I'd never be out here hiking without GOD first and foremost. And one very special Man. My Husband. For his encouragement in me and the push out the door to go do this dream. So, yeah, when I start talking about heading to a trail. I always remember standing in this circle of giant trees that reached to God himself and I look upward and reached my arms out, closed my eyes and I could hear him whisper... 'peace" So you bet, I get just a little teared up… And with good reason!