I used to hike and camp a lot in my youth and teenage years, hitting the Berkshires in Massachusetts, parts of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Vermont’s Green Mountains, and pretty much any neck of woods I could get to when given the freedom and time. Back then I even had dreams that I would one day traverse the length of the Appalachian Trail.
But other means of adventure slowly intervened. Sailing had always competed for my time in the woods, with many warm weather weekends devoted to time on the family sailboat, and several weeks of every summer engaged in sailing school. My fondness for paddling also started to grow when I hit 14, and by age 18 I was exploring more miles by river every year than by foot.
Dreams of the Appalachian Trail faded, and other than a summer’s stint as a camp counselor, I had all but hung up my hiking boots and backpack by the time I reached 22. And, upon entering the real world and the necessity of working in it to earn my keep, the little time left for adventure meant the forms of such had to be kept within a narrow range. Thus, the backpack and hiking boots made their way into the attic.