December 27 I planned out my year. December 28 My perspective on everything changed.
While hiking on the Trail I learned a lot this past summer about over coming unlooked for obstacles, walking through unknown landscapes (even when I had the proper maps), and some days just remembering my mantra of 'step, breathe, repeat'. I will need all that knowledge in the coming days and months.
My father died on the 28th of December. And that makes a difference to my plans.
The National Geographic map of the Appalachian Trail was what Dad wanted for his birthday last year so he could track my progress. He didn't write often though sometimes he would tack a note on the bottom of Mom's letters. He was proud of my progress, both in the miles covered and the discoveries made along the way.
I will keep hiking. I will climb those southern mountains that are waiting for me. (This time though I might carry a Spot of other tech so Mom can know where I am.) I can keep going if I remain connected, otherwise I will feel lost even if I can see the next blaze.