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Re: [at-l] A Question

At 09:39 AM 3/1/00 -0500, dfaddleton@mindspring.com wrote:
> I've been reading the emails for awhile now and I
>was just wondering why the trail is so important to you....

Wow, what a question. There are 2 parts to the answer. The first part is 'I
don't know'. Really! There are some ideas that just *grab* you. You don't
really know why. For some it's skydiving, others it's deep sea diving.
People take notion to ride a bicycle across country, some years back a guy
canoed across country. You just want to do it, reeaally want to do it, even
though your rational mind says 'are you nuts?' and comes up with a million
reasons not to do it.

The second part is that I set out in life to be an artist/art teacher. I
graduated when about a zillion others wanting to be art teachers did and
there were 2 (yes TWO) openings in the whole state that year. I did a bunch
of seasonal jobs for 3 years + then got a civil service job in the Dept of
Labor, a job which I detested. Throughout my first 20 years in DOL I was
looking all the time for something else but the job market wasn't good and
my resume for other work wasn't up to the competition with younger more
recent grads plus I had responsibilities that wouldn't permit me to take a
pay cut to get work I liked better at an entry level salary. 

Now I'm at the 'too close to retirement to quit' point. As a point of
personal integrity I've always made an effort to my job to the best of my
ability even though it wasn't what I wanted to do and I think when I retire
I need to escape... have a complete break to clear out my head from years
of focusing on stuff I never wanted to do in the first place. I like hiking
and a really long hike seems like a good way to do that. It would be a long
enough trip to get my head in a totally different place. 

I like photography and drawing. I'd like to try my hand at watercolor. A
hike of the whole AT would give me lots of subject matter and the lack of
responsibilities to a job would allow me to focus on what's important to me
for a change. So far my AT travels have consisted of spotting the road
crossings as I drive and once on the way to visit my son when he lived in
Mass I stopped at a NH crossing and explored a tiny stretch (less than a
quarter mile, my wife was waiting in the car). Why the AT? Go back to
number 1.

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