So as I sit home today and listen to the rain drops fall I started thinking. Do we ever really know? As Sarah and I are about to make a huge page turn in our lives here in Vermont two things came to mind- our attempted thru hike of the AT in 05 and baseball, yes baseball. So as I started thumbing through some pictures in my album I stumbled upon a picture that really hit home. That picture was of me in 05 in a random shelter in MA days before Sarah and I would call our AT thru hike quits. I can't tell you how many emotions ran through us that day and right now in fact. You know your done walking but part of you isn't and it can be tough to listen to both voices in your head and make the right decision. The funny part was our hike ended in VT ironically where it all started.
Sarah and I new we wanted to settle in VT years ago even before we completed our thru hike of the Long trail in 2001 solidifying that dream the day we sat atop Stratton Mt. and soaking in our new trail life. So here we were on our iconic thru hike of the longest, toughest, long distance trail where only the few and strong will actually make it. Well Sarah and I had decided that day atop Stratton Mt. that we were in fact not weak but done with our walk. I think by the time we reached Vermont we were home. So many people get to Katahdin and still feel that empty feeling or realize that they still haven't found what there looking for. Or maybe end up with a better scope of what they truly are looking for and find direction. Sarah and I just found it here in VT I guess, a little early. So whats the first thing people ask me five years later in Onion River Sports when they first learn I hiked the AT in 05 and didn't finish? Well it happens to always be- "Do you regret not finishing?" I think this is where people expect me to hesitate but I don't- "Absolutely not." Quite honestly I think I was supposed to not finish . Why? I don't think I would be writing this right now if we hadn't decided to end our thru hike that beautiful day. It was that kind of day that after two weeks of rain when your down and out finally that one sunny day keeps you going and makes it all worth it! In our case it made us realize the opposite; that we were home. To some people it makes sense, most seem surprised at my optimism and honesty. I think you really have to experience it your self to understand. It's funny, sometimes you find home and then sometimes well, home finds you.
Oh and as far as baseball that pennant in the shelter in MA was special. My grandmother waited years to have the Boston Red Sox win a World series and did in fact get to see them win in 2004. My Grandfather on the other hand didn't but I can tell you what he would say if I could have talked to him before 04 was "Someday you wait and they'll win it, I know it." I myself can tell you that every year someone would ask " Do you really think they can win it this year?" and I would say "Eh.. I don't know." Well my grandfather didn't get to see them win it but there you have it, they did and a second time in 07. One of the best moments in my life was in 2004 when I watched Keith Foulke toss that ground ball up the middle to first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz and you know who the first person I called was? My grandmother what a night it had been. So as I write this I guess sometimes you know and well sometimes you don't but that picture brings all these memories back. That random picture in a random shelter some where in MA where I had no idea where I would be right now writing this in Vermont, my home.
In 2007 I was given the opportunity of being invited to game one of the World series at Fenway Park against the Colorado Rockies about four hours before the opening pitch. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would have this opportunity, well turns out I did. But that's another story.
Well The World Series starts tomorrow and what I do know is the Red Sox aren't in it. But who can resist watching a little October baseball even if your favorite team isn't in it! I know I can't.