Storage Wars?

Just got to thinking tonight. It’s been a month and a half, and most all of my stuff is still sitting in storage. Practically the only things I have moved back out have been my bed and some official papers I needed. Everything else is still sitting in there, and not because they are hard to get to, it’s within 100 feet of the building.

I got so used to having as little on trail as possible, I got de-attached to things I didn’t absolutely need, or at least couldn’t fit in the pack. Now… I don’t know. I suspect most of the clothes will go to Goodwill, since they don’t fit me anymore anyway. The bookcases will eventually migrate back into the house, and when the books come back in, that will be an arduous challenge of how long I can sit in an uncomfortable position before my legs fall asleep. I tend to get lost in books that way.

The bike can stay out there until spring. I’ll get the tires pumped up, and actually begin using it – or get a new one, maybe.

I forget what else I have in there, but I have a feeling Goodwill, Free cycle, and Craigslist will benefit. If I can do without something for going on eight and a half months now, odds are I can continue doing without it.

Except the books.

Living on!

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Hair today, gone tomorrow?

It was surprisingly hard to reach the decision to get my hair cut on Saturday. On the trail, men grow their beards. Women grow out their hair. But after eight months, couldn’t put it off any longer. The cold weather was playing static games with it, on top of everything else…

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If anyone would like a cleanly formatted copy of this blog as a PDF file, divided into chapters by state and with a few photos, reply with an email and I’ll send it along. It’s just the blog, with now unneeded entries like maildrop info cut out, but formatted nicely.

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Post-Trail Notes – November 27

Well, people.

I’m thinking this will be my last post on the blog for a while, unless something extraordinary happens. Tomorrow I start working again, and life completes a transition back to ‘normal’. Whatever ‘normal’ is.

Some final updates…

  • Thanks to a great suggestion from the Wannabes, I am committed to adding at least 300 words a day to the book I am working on. Right now, I am just interested in getting all the memories down on paper (computer?) – think of it as a much expanded version of the blog at this point, very matter of fact “this is what I did on this day, and here is where I ended up, and this is how it felt, in a nutshell”. Later, once I have all the memories down, then I will begin dressing it up and making it more interesting.
  • In the course of clearing space in the dresser drawers for new clothes coming in, I tried on a few pairs of my old pants for the heck of it. Wow. Let’s just say, there was room for me and a soccer ball. If I had a soccer ball to test it with, anyway, which I don’t.
  • Miserable and rainy/foggy out there. And the wind is kicking up. I don’t think we’re in summer anymore, Toto. But I have cocoa with peppermint twist Smirnoff. 🙂
  • All this health insurance paperwork and 401K paperwork to fill out yet.
  • I have the month of December to plan the trip out to Yellowstone next September. I can’t really make reservations until I have a firmer grasp of budget, and I don’t really know a lot yet, just that I don’t want to drive out there. Maybe a travel package, maybe fly and drive. Things have to be settled.
  • Any and all geocachers (and non-geocachers!) are welcome at the Omaholiday Pizza Party (GC6TF3F), on December 11, if you are inclined to make your way to Omaha. I’ve been hosting this for 10 years now, so this year will be both a milestone, and probably with a hiking subtheme.

Cheers, and bets of the season to each and all! Thank you for reading along!

Ziptie, signing off.
(But I live on!)

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Happy Thanksgiving!

It has been a great year, and I am very thankful to God, and all of you for helping make it so! Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!!!

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Post-Trail Notes – November 21

Life goes on… and so do I!

I will be back at work next Monday, at much the same job I was doing before, and I am grateful to have that settled. With that much less stress hanging over my head, my mind is free now to do other things. I’ve started working on the book more seriously, just a half-hour here and there, but if it is still slow, it is still progress. Just like on the trail, I’ll get there in the end, even if I am slow. 🙂

In other news… I’ve been spending money, since I will have a steady source of income again soon. I ordered a child’s dish set from the John Wayne Birthplace website to fulfill a promise made to a trail angel and her son, who loves all things John Wayne, and will send it on as a Christmas gift once it arrives. And I spent a good chunk of time last night creating a 5×7 photobook on the Walmart site, arranging photos and captions just *so*. I ordered two copies – if it turns out well, I’ll create some 8×11 photobooks to send out to people. Because that was another (silent) promise, and because people (you know who you are) were so darned NICE to me while I was on trail!

Side note – maple liquor from Vermont rocks. And I still metabolize alcohol FAST. I only had one shot!

Darned head cold, or whatever it is, I keep sneezing and feeling muddle-headed. Before anyone says anything, no, it’s not normal. 🙂

Every year, I hold a big pizza party for geocachers at a Valentinos in Omaha – this will be the 10th year of hosting it, so I’ve been pulling out the stops to make it a special one. Of course, that means I have to turn on the creative juices to produce holiday geocaching carol songs. I’ll work on THAT after Thanksgiving. Also, catching up with people I’ve not seen since April. Pleasant, very pleasant, but the weight issue is something I’ll need to keep a close eye on!


Cheers, everyone!

I live on!

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Post-Trail Notes – November 14

[CAUTION: Fretting ahead.]


Well, I can’t say I wasn’t warned about post-trail depression. I’m definitely feeling it now. Started looking for a job again today, sending out resumes, but my heart’s just not in it. But I’ve been back for two weeks and “getting tired of staring at the same four walls”. Or however many walls there are in the apartment, if this keeps up, I may end up going out to count them!

The weather is getting colder (imagine that!) and definitely curtailing my walking outside, though I have a pretty decent fitness room nearby. I just need to USE it. I understand that with fires burning in NC, that part of the trail is pretty hot right now, so I may have lucked out.

I need to refocus my attention on my goals. Being on the trail was rough, but the goals were always so clearcut. Walk this many miles a day to get to this point; walk so many miles this week to get to this town; Katahdin. Then, southwards. Back in my other life, I have goals, too, but they are not so clearcut, and they are a lot harder to define, let alone reach, when it’s not a simple matter of putting one foot after the other all day.

  • Finding a job – can I go back into the same position/field, do I really want to, should I try something else… well, the money has to come in from somewhere, and I may not have time to try something new. Not yet. I’m thinking about temp agencies – at least I can generate some income will I figure things out.
  • Writing the book – stalled on this, because I’m frustrated with Microsoft Word formatting, and haven’t yet managed to kick myself into ignoring it and just write. The words just won’t come when you’re fretting over two spaces after each period, double-spacing, how do I weave this into that. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be worrying about that at this stage. But I do.
  • Caught a cold already. No, this was not one of my goals. But I missed the City Council meeting I was going to attend, I’ll have to catch the next one in December.
  • Should have stayed on trail until the election stuff dies down. Facebook is like a little vacuum, it sucks you in… I know, that is also something I could have had the willpower to avoid.

Sorry, people. Chalk it up to post-trail depression. I’m still grateful for hot showers and flush toilets and ice cream in the freezer, don’t get me wrong. And seeing old friends and NOT HAVING TO PACK UP A WET TENT!


I DO live on. I just have to remind myself of that!

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Post-Trail Notes – November 10

Remember that ‘until things get boring’ clause? 

Well, I am here to tell you that walking endlessly around an empty mall to try to get some miles in when it is raining outside – that is the most mind-numbingly boring thing ever! I will need music if I need to try that again!

Ankles were getting better, then I did 9 miles on Omaha bike paths on Election Day, and now they need to get better again. I am going to turn soft and lazy. 😦 I’ve only been back a week and a half, but it feels much longer. Did I really do all this?

I’ve gone through my pics and selected out about 150 out of 1500 that I really like, and started cross-checking to label them with approximate location. Obviously, I will have to whittle the number down further for a photo book, but it is a start.

Tonight I am going to go to a Toastmasters’ meeting as an observing non-member! I’m pretty excited about this, I really want to improve on my speaking skills. Also plan to contact the Bellevue City Council to see if I can volunteer to serve on any of the city committees. And, of course, I will try to put some words down in Word for the book. I try to keep my days full, even if hiking has dwindled. Work situation still in flux, but financially, it hasn’t reached “I need a job NOW” stage yet.

Peace, people!

I live on!

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Post-Trail Notes – November 5

I said I would blog until things got boring, but there’s not that much unusual to blog about every day, alas. That /would/ get boring. So, some general observations for the past few days.

  • My Fitbit makes a 😛 at me when it switches over to a new day, until I do some walking
  • I’m covering 5-6 miles a day, mostly on flat, paved sidewalks, but I have asked for and received several suggestions on where to walk that will be more challenging. The mileage is a far cry from what I was covering towards the end of the hike, but I have to step it down. 
  • My feet still swell, and my ankles are still hurting. I wear  an ankle brace yet on the right foot.
  • It was great to see old caching friends today! And will see more tomorrow.
  • It is problematic to try to hike long distances (10+ miles) in urban areas. On the trail, there was always the option of stepping off trail to take care of business. That’s not nearly as possible here, and must be taken into account.
  • I’ve finished a long, chronological list of where I stayed each night on the trail, be it shelter, hostel, or motel. This will be invaluable for cataloging the 1500 or so pictures I took, and for dividing the proposed book into state-sized sections.
  • Once the pictures are sorted and the best ones picked out and captioned, I’ll take my sister Cathy’s suggestion and have a picture book created from one of the online services. Maybe even ready by the pizza party in December? Who knows!
  • Should know more about what is happening, job-wise, next week. Updating my resume is one of the tasks on the massive to-do list. Yes, just as before starting the hike, I am back to checking items off a to-do list. In my end is my beginning.
  • Days go by…

    I live on!

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    Post-Trail Notes – November 1&2

    Slowly and gradually getting used to this place called ‘home’. There are male people here, and a TV permanently tuned to the World Series. Well, okay. Also, an oven, which I have been busy becoming reacquainted with – up early to cook up some cornbread, and I made hamburgers last night, a bit undercooked and finished off in the microwave. Ah well!

    Yesterday I attended a going away party for my former supervisor’s boss, which was great – able to see a lot of once and future coworkers, and in general reconnect with that world. Hopefully will be back to work in a week or two.

    I got a 5.5 mile walk in today, carrying a mostly empty day pack. It made me feel more normal. I bought a cheap pair of size 8.5 wide sneakers at Walmart today. It made me feel more comfortable. Also managed to get in my daily German lesson, and some Candy Crush. It made me feel more accomplished.

    Oh! I have been fitbitted. It is happy with me today, I made my daily goals.

    Someone just scored out there. I have to see what is going on.

    I live on!

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