Ultrarunner Karl Meltzer set a new supported speed record for the Appalachian Trail on Sunday, September 18,2016 completing his southbound trek in 45 days, 22 hours, and 38 minutes. I watched a movie about his achievement this morning on Netflix. A year later Karl’s record was beat by Joe McConaughy. Both of these gentlemen have incredible stamina, drive, and determination. I admire them both. They set a goal and achieved it. To them this was not about a hike in the woods, is was breaking a record that drove them.
I, however, enjoy a hike in the woods. From the home Gail and I have in North Carolina ( Otter Cottage ) I can hike for hours. It’s not something I want to do fast however; even if I could). For me the hike is the destination. The hike is the goal. Often, I will hike until we come to a seemingly quiet spot and Tucker and I will stop, sit down and wait for the forest to come back to life and accept our intrusion. Well not accept as much as resume its normal life. The music of the forest resumes. The birds, the bugs, the squirrels, and yes, we came upon an Otter one day as well.
Hiking to me is like listening to music. I don’t listen to music to get to the end of the piece. In fact. Often, I am disappointed that it ends. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll relish the accomplishment of making it “so far”, or “so high”, or for “so long”. I can’t get around that. My entire life and career I have been a competitive, goal oriented man. I love benchmarks, grades, ‘attaboys, and measures of progress on a path to a goal. I can’t get around it. But I’m going to try harder at enjoying the trip and listen to the music more.
Update on my change over to Mini Splits (Mitsubishi Ductless AC)
Gail and I added a three head mini-split system from Mitusbishi to our second flor 2005 home. The system is quieter that central air, easier to adjust, and less expensive. June 2017 average temps were 85 degrees and our FPL bill was $380.85, June 2018 temps averaged one degree higher. Our FPL bill was $171.05. Keep in mind we only replaced ½ our system. I’m convinced and pleased we made the switch.