It's the first day of the last month in a year filled with disappointment, pain, sadness and at times optimism. The events of the past 11 months give me no reason to feel optimistic but I do my best to have a positive outlook. Or is it denial? Only the future will reveal the answer.
I decided months ago I would no longer plan for the future. The plans and goals I made over the past three years went mainly unfulfilled. Yet, I find myself already making plans for 2013. Doing so makes me hopeful. It's all I have right now.
So, here are my tentative plans for next year in order of importance. Some of you may be surprised where running falls on the list. I've done most of what I wanted to do over the past 40+ years as a runner, except run a hundred mile race, so it's time to move on the next adventure.
Last year I attempted to run the entire 200 miles of the Bay Circuit Trail from Plum Island in Newbury to Kingston on the South Shore. An injury stopped me after 103 miles so I have some unfinished business waiting for me. This time I'll be hiking, not running.
I sort of have a love-hate relationship with this 22 mile trail. I've run two races on the Wapack Trail and the trail got the better of me both times. It's a challenging trail with many mountain peaks and great views on a clear day. Maybe I'll enjoy it more this time around. My plan is to hike the trail South to North, stealth camp overnight and return back to MA the next day.
This 50 mile trail in western New Hampshire begins and ends on the summits of mountains so unless you can get a helicopter infiltration and extraction, the total distance is closer to 55 miles. Depending on my physical condition when I attempt this, it would likely take me 3-5 days to complete. There are shelters on the trail but I would still carry a tent since I prefer softer soil to hard planks.
Hiking this 95 mile trail in Worcester Country from Rhode Island to New Hampshire would be good preparation for an Appalachian Trail section hike through New England but I'm getting way ahead of myself here.
I have fond memories of my many Grand Tree races of the past. I met several good people at these races and always enjoyed running in different locations. I would love to get back to my trail running roots.
Well, that's enough dreaming for now. It's time for another walk in the snow.