Homer's Travels: A Few Thoughts On Borborosophobia* And Ombrophobia**

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Few Thoughts On Borborosophobia* And Ombrophobia**

I'd looked forward to Saturday for nearly a month.  Not only was there going to be a Backwoods sponsored hike at Neale Woods Nature Center, a park I'd never hiked before, but there was also a free Beach Boy concert Saturday evening on the Iowa side of the pedestrian bridge.

I woke up Saturday morning to the sound of thunder and the flash of lightning.  The forecast was for an early light drizzle but we had a third of an inch by 8:00 AM.  As I was feeding Iago at 6:00 AM, listening to the sound of the rain, I turned off my alarm and decided not to do the hike.  I slept in until 9:00 AM when the hike was supposed to start.  It turned out that the hike was not cancelled.  The rain had pretty much stopped by the start time of the hike, but the idea of trudging through the mud turned me off.

Canceling my hiking plans put me in a funk the rest of the day.  The forecast for the time of the concert was even more rain than in the morning.  Throughout the afternoon I convinced myself that I really wasn't that interested in going to see the Beach Boys.  I did such a good job of convincing myself  that, when the rain disappeared from the forecast in plenty of time for me to get to the concert, I decided not to go.

So, my hesitancy for doing things in the rain cheated me out of two events that I probably would have enjoyed.  A little mud on the trail shouldn't have stopped me.  The risk of a few sprinkles while I listened to live music shouldn't have stopped me.  But, in the end, an apparent aversion to rain and mud did get in the way and stopped all my Saturday plans in their tracks.

This really got me thinking.  How will I feel after days of rain on the Camino?  Would I stop and return home because of the rain and mud?   I know I wouldn't.  I walked the last Camino in the rain on at least three days.  The advantage of the Camino, though, is after the end of a rainy day you end up in a warm albergue with a dry bed and, probably, a dryer to dry your rain soaked clothes.

The Appalachian trail (AT) is a whole different story.  At times you may be a week away from a warm motel room.  I will be camping in a tent that I may have to put up in the rain.  The length of the AT requires that you start in the spring when rain and stormy weather are common.  How will I feel after a weeks worth of rain?  How will I feel when I am out of dry clothes?  Am I ready to handle trench foot?  The answer to all these question is:  I will swear, I will curse, I will ask what the hell am I doing, and then I will do what I need to do and keep on slogging ahead.  I'm stubborn that way.

What I'm saying is that it's easy to decide not to do something.  It is harder to stop doing something once you've started it.  This Saturday ... was just a lapse in judgement.  It is hard to start something when you know there will be times of misery but start I will because, with the misery, there will be awesome and awesome makes everything worth it.

*   Borborosophobia: The fear of mud and mud puddles.
** Ombrophobia: The fear of rain or of  being rained on.


  1. I went hiking through the woods once after the rain had fallen. And you know what happened? I slipped on mud down a hill and smacked into a tree covered in slugs.

    I hope this story makes you feel a bit better about your decision. :) Sluuuuugs

    Pack extra socks for the Appalachian. Don't get trench foot. And please, please don't get mugged, okay? Do you have a buddy? oh geez, I'm already nervous and you're not even going yet. Reassure us that you're really planning this through like the Camino okay? OKAY!?!?!

    1. Miss McC: Nothing wrong with slugs. They're just homeless snails.

      I will try not to get mugged. I will not have a buddy but I'm sure I'll meet someone along the trail to keep me company. I haven't started planning yet but when I do it will be planned, I assure you. OKAY!

  2. One word: gaiters.

    I've hiked in all sorts of weather. Sometimes because of stubborness, sometimes because I wanted to get out and hike in the rain. But I know how you feel. Several days on my trip were nothing but rain, and it dampened my spirit because I couldn't get away.

    Oh, yeah, and now I feel guilty for having skipped my evening bike ride tonight. Thanks for that. :)

    1. GH: They will be considered. I will be thining through my rain gear very carefully.

      Your welcome :-D