Due to my ever-worsening bouts of depression, I have the C&O Canal on my mind again. Back in late April (?) I tried to walk 160 miles of it and ended up blistered and worn out after 15. Don’t wear work boots to hike for one. This time, if anything, I might as well try to bike it while wearing my surplus army pack. I eliminated tent poles, the sleeping bag, most of the water (pumps every 10 miles or so) but will probably carry the same amount of food. The bike means I can make it farther, theoretically. However, you can never really tell with me. I noticed that despite a soapy wipe down my sleep mat still stinks, probably from a summer of sleeping on it with manure and sweat and dirt covered clothes.

I think I do it all because of the full immersion. I just want to make it another mile before stopping. I just want to stay warm through the night. Ironically I had more conversations with strangers on that trail than I do in a normal several months combined. I forget about the loneliness of my home life because I am really alone out there. 

As an aside, thanks to the government shutdown the C&O canal is technically shut down to the point where they put barriers outside the parking lots (at least in the populated areas). At this point I’m not really sure if I care or if it will stop me. Really, why should I let the government interfere with going into the woods?


3 thoughts on “

  1. erikamsteele

    I probably wouldn’t let it stop me either (if I didn’t have a kid). I’d do it just to do it.
    I am sorry depression is getting worse for you. I struggle myself and if I knew ways to help I would definitely share them.


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