Earlier this week, I found myself on an adventure doing what I do best…schlepping loads up a mountain. Usually my load is a child, but this time it was gear and food. Last winter, a group of local people who were planning an attempt to get a paraplegic to the top of the highest mountain in Maine asked me to haul gear and make runs up the mountain with stuff that the crew would need.
Yep, I can do that!
I would have never thought to seek out something like this; in fact, being away from my kids is not something I really do. I questioned myself the past few weeks as final preparations were being made. Should I really do it? Was it okay to be away from my kids for a couple days and an overnight? Was it selfish? Everyone harps so hard about the fleeting time when kids are young- was I wasting it to be away from them for a couple days? This probably sounds ridiculous but these are the thoughts I was having. In retrospect (of even just a day), I can see that more clearly!
I wanted to do it because it is something I can do. I can hike a lot of miles and I can haul things and not only can I do it, it’s something I love to do. I hadn’t been on Mount Katahdin for 9 years and the thought of hiking again was appealing…it’s so incredible. The team was mostly people I did not know and I loved the idea of being part of a team. And of course, it’s totally interesting too. What all do you need to plan for when getting a woman who cannot use her legs up a big mountain?
So, I hauled a lot of stuff. In fact, I totally appreciated hauling stuff and contemplating the things that we all think we “need” with us. There was more gear than what we porters could legitimately stuff in our packs, so we had to go through people’s things and edit. We all have our things that seem important to us (me too!), that an outsider can clearly see are excess.
After I hauled stuff, I got to play a little too. I had been thinking about ways to push my comfort zone lately, but I hadn’t considered the Knife’s Edge on Mt. Katahdin, mostly because I didn’t know when I would have an opportunity. Like the trip itself, the opportunity presented itself, and the Knife’s Edge was definitely on my list of things that I haven’t done that seemed a little scary. The unknown is always scary! I did it…. and it wasn’t nearly as fear-inducing as I anticipated (true of most things).
In the end, the kids survived (and John did too). They picked me up in the parking lot and started hammering me with a million questions, all at one time….back to usual! All in all, it was a vacation to haul stuff!