It’s amazing what one successful hike and a pair of good hiking boots can do. On the road back to Texas, I found myself scanning the maps of Canada, looking for canoe trips T and I could take in the future. Maybe an easy, non-portage one to begin with, like a part of the Peace River… Suddenly everything seems possible again!
I didn’t put my boots in the closet yet. They’re where I can see them from my side of the bed. I’m making them part of my life again. I’ve started Pinning hiking and hiking gear and now I feel like going to REI with T, just for fun! I’m going to need a day pack, and a new backpack, eventually, because I gave mine to Goodwill a few years ago in a bout of hopelessness. But that’s fine, because now they have packs that come in teal! No, it will never be the same–it’s going to be better!
And guess what? A few days ago R said that for her high school graduation trip, she’d like to go hiking in the Cairngorms with me!!! (T took them both for middle school graduation trips.) That will still take three years, but yesterday B heard about it and said he wants to go with me, too, for the high school graduation trip I still owe him. I was going to take him to Paris last summer, but because of Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish supermarket shootings in January, I wasn’t comfortable going to Paris, and we put it off. So next summer I might be back in Britain, with a backpack, and showing my offspring how to live the hiking life!
It turns out that my hiking identity wasn’t gone for good. It was just dormant for twenty-three years. I can’t wait for it to get cooler here, so we can go on some day hikes around the Hill Country. It will still be warmer than Canada, but even if I have to jump in a creek to soak my clothes and stay cool, I’m doing it!