It’s been years. Years of dreaming. Watching others get out there. Seen the movies, YouTube videos, read the books: The Camino de Santiago, Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail. John Muir Trail, California Coastal Trail, Minnesota Superior Trail…the list is endless.
So as the years tick by, I wonder if it will ever happen for me.
The itch must have started when I met a man from France, who intended (and succeeded in the year 2000) to make a 2000 mile Camino starting at Santiago de Compostela Catholic Church in Lake Forest CA, and ended at Santiago De Compostela in Spain. There was no such thing as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram. I met him through our church’s website. Email communication was it. He generously wrote emails and sent them to all the people he met while on the journey.
The whole thing fascinated me. Walking…hundreds if not thousands of miles. I thought, maybe to celebrate my 50th birthday, that would be a monumental goal. A way to mark that milestone. An adventure of a lifetime. Then life happened.
Well life does just keep happening and my 60th has come and gone. Still not even a weekend backpack trip. Don’t get me wrong. Over 25 years, we tent camped, graduated to a 1979 pop up camper, then a 30’ 10 year old Winnebago, followed by a 30’ Cougar fifth wheel trailer pulled by an awesome Chevy diesel pickup. Those were some incredible family trips and adventures. From CA deserts with the kids and their dirt bikes, local mountains, boon-docking in city back streets, National parks, county parks, BLM land, San Francisco, San Diego, Oregon, to Washington State and back. But the kids grew up and were no longer interested in trips with mom & dad.
In all those years, no one was interested in overnight back-packing. But the itch for me, never went away.
So the RV trips diminished as we found the fifth wheel trailer to be just too much to handle. Aging knees, old injuries and the comforts of home more appealing than wrestling that massive hitch, loading all the food, clothes and general maintenance needed for such a large vehicle. So we sold it.
Now a sixty-something grandma, the itch is still alive and well.
I too have “The Itch”. As I am getting older and feeling time slipping away like a physical feeling… like sand sliding through my fingers… I just want to go everywhere and do everything. I would add the Tahoe Rim Trail, the Wonderland Trail, the trek to Macchu Piccu and the Welsh Coastal Trail to your list. Bonus if there is a patch involved!!