Saturday, January 19, 2013

It's Been a Long Time

When last we heard from the intrepid travelers, they were heading home from sunny FL.

It was an uneventful trip until we arrived in Columbia, MD, for a long anticipated visit with our friends, John and Kathy.  We were enjoying a lovely dinner and the chance to catch up with each other when my phone rang.  It was Chuck calling to tell me he had just learned that Josh had been found dead in his apartment in Colorado.  It was a shock.  If we had to be away from home when learning such awful news, we couldn't have been in a better place than with John and Kathy.  We have been friends for more than 25 years and are familiar with each others children and their histories.  It was so helpful to be with supportive, understanding people as we started to process the information.

It's been difficult for me to blog since that time.  There were memorial service details to work out, an autopsy report to digest and lots of thoughts and feelings to process.  Fortunately our children and my DIL, Sara, swung into action and did the hard work of planning a lovely service that was attended by more than 200 people. We're progressing through a year without him, marking how we miss him at various holidays and his birthday.  He and I had been somewhat estranged and I didn't hear from him often.  I do find myself thinking about him now and wishing he were still here, out there in the west, far away but with the possibility of contact.

Shelter on the AT in Vermont

Aside from lots of knitting, the one accomplishment I'm very proud of is my backpacking adventure on the Appalachian Trail in Vermont.  There is a 21 mile section between Bennington, VT and Arlington/Wardsboro Road that has no road crossings.  It must be hiked as a backpack.  I've been thinking and scheming about it for years now.  Since I'm now approaching 70, I figured it's now or never.  I knew I could never do it with my old backpacking gear so I did some research and purchased new, ultralight equipment.  I did a trial run overnight in NJ and when that was a success I watched the weather report for a four day stretch of good weather in Vermont.  I drove up on my own, left the car at the trailhead near Bennington and set off into the woods.  I was out for four days and three nights.  There were times that I felt physically challenged but I soldiered on.  I never felt alone.  There were many southbound hikers to meet during the day and there were plenty of people at the various shelters each night.  At the end of the hike my sister picked me up at the northern trailhead and we spent the afternoon, evening and next morning in Manchester, VT.  I hope to make more trips like this in the spring.

I'm hoping to blog regularly again.  I have lots of knitting projects to show you and lots of things going on in my life.  Let's see how it goes.

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