Homer's Travels: September 2020

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Fever ... In The Morning ... Aching All Through The Day ...

 Sunday night I was exhausted for no real reason and had the chills.

Monday I was achy and had a headache and a temperature of 102℉.  I didn't have the cough, breathing issues, or taste and smell loss typical of COVID-19.

Tuesday I felt worse physically than on Monday but I no longer had a fever.  The Wife stayed home from work out of an abundance of caution.  I took two Covid tests - the first being the free Nebraska COVID-19 test that takes three to five days for results and the second was a rapid test.  The rapid test came back negative so no COVID-19 for me.

Wednesday the Wife went back to work but I still feel crappy with body aches and lack of energy.  My fever appears to have lasted only twenty-four hours.

I have no idea where I got what I got.  I've only gone out when I was going shopping and I always have a mask on.  Somewhere along the way a flu virus, or some other bug, managed to get by my defenses.  In 2020, any sign of illness takes on whole new dimensions.

Be careful out there … and get a Flu shot.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

A Year After

 A year ago today I left Imp Shelter and Campsite and hiked off the Appalachian Trail (AT) for the last time.  While I have physically been off the trail for a year part of me is still on the trail.

After my diabetes diagnosis last spring I began walking again hoping diet and exercise would help (they have so far).  On those walks my mind inevitably wanders back to the AT and I begin second guessing all the decisions I made on the trail.  What if?  What if? What if?  It makes it hard for me to enjoy my walks.  

Sunset approaching along the AT.
  Maybe if I put it down in a post I can find a way to move forward.

  • I should have started earlier.  Even a week earlier may have made a difference in the long run.  I would have reached Damascus, VA around the time for Trail Days.  I could have experienced this spectacle and it would have placed me, at least for a time, in the Damascus Bubble of hikers leaving the town en masse.  The extra people would have made the hike a more social and less lonely experience.
  • I should have continued my food discipline north of Harper's Ferry, WV.  Food discipline while I'm on long hikes is an issue I first experienced on the Camino de Santiago.  In the southern part of the AT I did pretty good eating most of my packed food.  North of Harper's Ferry I began getting lazy.  I didn't eat all my food and I often was too lazy to boil water for my dehydrated meals in the evening.  Several stages I added an extra day while I was on the trail which often forced me to eat four days worth of food over five days.  Poor food discipline may have contributed to my body not recovering near the end.
  • I was too fixated on staying in shelters.  I don't remember how many times I put up my tent but I think it was around fourteen times over my one hundred seventy-seven days on the AT.  I would often stop at a shelter early in the afternoon because the next shelter was too far to reach before dark.  What I should have done is stop at the shelter, eat some food, and take a nap before continuing down the trail, stopping a few hours later in a place where I could put up my tent.  I think this would have added two to five miles onto my day thus getting me that much farther down the trail.  This was especially true during the summer when the days were long and daylight was plentiful.
It's this last point that would have made the most difference I think.  Even If I averaged one mile extra per day I would have been over one hundred fifty miles ahead of where I was.  Having an extra couple of weeks might have made the difference.  The only downside is that the trail might have been even more lonely than it was.  *sigh* What if …?

For those who are wondering, I do not have the desire to go back and finish it.  When I made the decision last April it was final.  I just wish I could find a way to get Little Hill out of my head and move on.  Maybe this post will help Little Hill finally get some rest.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Autumn Equinox

We reach this autumnal equinox shrouded by the passing of the Notorious RBG and an election struggling under the weight of a manufactured crisis.

If only …
May we all survive the changing of the seasons during this unending, and exceedingly cruel, year.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Another Year Of 'Winning'

 I forgot to post about 9-11 last year.  I know I was distracted by the Appalachian Trail but I should have remembered.  Forgetfulness is often our downfall.

It has been nineteen years since the towers came down and Bin Laden's victory continues.  America has been in the grip of terror and even the hopeful Obama presidency wasn't able to break the downward spiral of our Democratic Experiment.  If anything the hopefulness only brought out the ugliness once hidden in the shadows.

We are less than a month and a half from the American elections and all I feel is a confused knot of hope and dread.  Which path will our country take?  Does it really matter?  I can't forget the fact that thirty to forty percent supports the President and his sycophants.  They will not go away after the elections ... no matter what the results are.

The towers fell nineteen years ago and the chain reaction that began goes on and on.  It didn't start the corruption of our Democracy but it did act as an accelerant for its downfall.  Now, since the beginning of the year, Covid-19 has claimed American lives equivalent to sixty-four 9-11s. Another 9-11s worth lose their lives every two and a half days.  When will it all end?