The Trip Not Taken


Spring, like Winter, has brought a seemingly endless string of uncooperative weather and commitments at home which have combined to prevent me from getting out for more than day hikes. This pic is from the one time I was able to get out for a few nights back in February which explains the load out. Note the thermos which was filled with boiled water in the morning that I’d pour into the water bottle to melt the ice throughout the day. It was a few degrees above zero in the morning and around 20°F during the day.

Not being able to get out there has been a challenge, both mentally and physically.  Day hiking can only do so much good on either account. Being on trail for several days or longer puts a person in a different state of mind that day hiking just can’t, at least for me. Not carrying the load of a full pack also tempts the legs into getting lazy. Breaking in the new Limmers has helped on that account as it takes a surprising amount of leg muscles, but that isn’t the same as the workout of hoisting a winter pack.

With this lack of opportunities to get out on trail the past few months I was very temped when a friend suggested I might join him for a Shenandoah traverse this week. It seemed a great chance to get the scoot out on the road and spend some time exploring a new area with a buddy. Having driven through that area on a family trip last year I was curious about climbing the ridges on foot rather than just speeding past in a car.

In the end, looking at the logistics of travel, shuttle and the family calendar I had to send my regrets. As much as the call of the trail pulled at me it seemed wiser to not push things. With the lack of time in the saddle of late I might have been a liability on a 100+ mile ridge line hike.  Banking some more family time before my busy summer trail schedule starts also factored into my decision. As things have turned out by staying home I missed trying to ride my scoot down to VA in a snowstorm and the weather looks pretty nasty down that way today.

So after a long Winter of trips not taken I’ll add this one to the list and try to be philosophical about it. Maybe there are trips we’re not meant to take. Forcing the issue rather than accepting that fact has probably led more than one adventurer to regret it. For now I’ll keep working on those Limmers and wait for my chance. Looks like a possible break in the weather late next week…

One thought on “The Trip Not Taken

  1. Life. It goes that way sometimes. My camping has been restricted too.
    I haven’t been here in a while. Glad you are still posting. Thank you. It has really helped me get out more, just not lately.

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