I couldn’t tell you if it was the prayers or the crossed fingers, but the result of the blood culture came back today and I’ve been given the all clear to return to the Trail tomorrow.
To be frank, the longer the waiting went on, the more concerned I was that something was going on. I guess I just need to be a little more patient to allow nature to work its course.
I’ve used the days at home to reconsider my pack and have dropped several items that I either didn’t use or chose not to use. I’ve also left out my winter clothes and bought a new water filtering system, as well as two new shirts that will be more appropriate for the summer. Given that hiking and camping were entirely new to me, most of my choices have worked out fairly well but, as with any venture, those choices can be improved and I hope that my pack will now be a little lighter and less crammed with unnecessary items.
Food is going to be an ongoing issue and I will be incorporating more pasta and rice into my diet, as well as more snacks in between meals. The weight loss has been a little startling, even to me, while I have had the opportunity to see my ribs for the first time in about 30 years, so that was nice.
When I was on the Trail, I told several people that I didn’t think I could come back if I spent several days back in “civilization,” yet I am ready to go back and complete what I started. The motivation hasn’t gone away and, when I came home last week, I was strongly aware that I’d always regret it if I didn’t at least try to complete the hike. This feeling has grown throughout my convalescence and I’m ready to resume my adventure. There will be a new set of characters and a new set of challenges, but I’d always be wondering what they might have been had I quit.
Thanks again to all who encouraged me and all who were concerned about me. It has been a privilege to be the recipient of so much love, prayers and affection, as well as innumerable crossed fingers.
Lastly, thanks as ever to my extraordinary wife, Diane, for her stoic response to everything that has happened on the hike. She remains as committed as I am to the ultimate success of this challenge and is the reason that I am able to return in such high spirits.
I’ve had my intermission, now let’s get on to the main feature!!