As Dan "wingfoot" Bruce defines it..."springer Fever" is the almost uncontrollable urge to be back on the trail that hits thru-hikers of past years each spring.
On 27 March 2005, I began my journey along the trail. That day I only hiked 3 miles or so along the trail due to horrible weather and the option of staying in the Lodge one more night. I am no fool and decided to begin dry and happy. It was not the wrong choice by any means. Now, I sit here a year later having shared my experiences with an audience of 40-50 strangers, friends, and loved ones.
This past Monday, I presented my journey through a slideshow presentation at the Lakewood REI store here in Colorado. My power point presentation did not work and I had to wing it. For close to an hour and a half, I told people of my travels north along the appalachian trail. At the end, I got to chat with friends from the trail who live in the area and were able to make it to the presentation. It was nice having those who have the experience there at the talk to give me assurance. Every so often when I thought I was rambling on about nothing, I would look back at "Danger & Gravity" as they shook their heads in colaboration with my comments, thoughts, and feelings. It helped me to feel confident and continue with my presentation.
For the next day, though, I felt like I had not really said much of anything. As I thought of the presentation and all the people, I was unsure whether I actually was able to portray the true nature of the trail. Then, I began realizing it is hard to get a foreign concept across to people who have not ever gone on such an experience or have no desire to walk such a long distance. On my way to work the day after my presentation, "Springer Fever" was hitting me harder than usual. I looked to our grand Rocky Mountains and tried to create a way for me to hike the Colorado Trail and still work fulltime at REI. Knowing that was insanity, I quickly put it to the back of my mind.
Arriving early to work, I checked my email where I had an email from my friend, "Hardcore Hiker" and she was talking of doing the Pacific Crest Trail next year. I am more than ready to jump on another long distance trail and see what I can do. My level has decreased lately, but I am ready to see how much of a superhero I can be again. Part of me misses having people ask me why I am doing such a crazy thing as walking for days on end! Hiking and walking are in my blood now. With Mike, when he gets down or in a funk, he likes to go run. Me, I feel the need to hike somewhere or walk somewhere. Sure, I am training to run Pikes Peak this Eugust, but I figure if nothing more, I can power hike it as fast as some people can run it! Yup! I am a little smug on that one. Maybe that is what keeps me lazy occassionally. We will get on the ball though and start the heavy training. I have gained 10pounds back from the trail and am not happy with that look so I need to get a move on with my sumemr running and fitness activities. Some of my activities are going to include hiking the Colorado Trail in segments even if it kills me! I miss carrying my pack. It was my life and is still all I really need in life. Everything else is just fluff!
Many things are on the platter for the future and I just need to convince my hubby he wants to join me on some of those excursions. Some of them include things that he is interested in...like the running. This summer, I am running Pikes Peak Marathon. Next summer, I am running the Leadville 100 if all works out right! We will see how everything pans out over time . Currently trail friends have plans to return to Damascus trail days the middle to end of May. Due to work, I am unable to go, but will plan on looking into it for the following year as I really miss the people I grew to know and love along the trail. It is a wonderful family of thru-hikers out there. Maybe that is what is calling me back to the trail. Unfortunately none of the same people will be there except a select few! Guess I will have to keep up connections with the friends here in the Denver area and retell stories of the trail with them.
Give me my next physical challenge please!