This is really it, on the plane, with the rather symbolic separation of Diane and me, as we are located in seats on the plane one row apart. It seems appropriate somehow as we ease into this 6 month separation and I’m glad she is coming to Atlanta and beyond with me, delaying the final farewell for a day. She has been nervous all week as the day has approached and now is keeping as brave a face as possible under the circumstances.
Temporary separation has rarely, if ever, been an issue in my life. My separations until now have been permanent, willfully walking out on two marriages, never to return. This is different, though, as I will be coming back joyfully to this marriage in six months time, though I’m sure Diane and I have two different perspectives on the time apart. I’m going off to have my, probably, last great adventure, while she is the one left behind to keep the house running, preparing me food and looking after her folks. I’m certainly going to miss her; indeed, home sickness is probably a greater fear for me than bears or injury. However, I’m not letting the impending distance between us get in the way of embracing this journey to its fullest extent. I’m ready for the rubber to hit the road or, in this case, the trail.
I had to leave my pepper spray behind in the car, though Diane will mail it to me in about a week or so. However, irony of ironies, when we went through security, Diane’s bag must have alerted the security team to something and they found her own, smaller pepper spray in her bag. Naturally, they confiscated it.
Since I had my head shaved, I’ve really felt a calm fall over me, with a quietness of spirit I didn’t know I possessed. I have talked about this peripherally for years, researched AND talked fervently about it for the past three months and, now that I’m about to walk into the woods for the first time in my life, the talking has to stop and the research is done. It’s now going to be a case of putting my research into action and simply planting one foot in front of the other 5,000,000 times, which is apparently the number of steps that it takes to complete the Trail.
Tomorrow, I’ll send my first pictures from the Trail itself, so follow along with me and let the fun begin……