Party’s Over… Back – to – Reality Time

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Well, the party’s over. 😦

I made the bulk of the drive today and pulled into my driveway around 8 PM. It was a balmy 90 degrees. The worst part about camping is unpacking all of that stuff. I keep thinking that one day I’m going to “rough it” and not bring so much stuff, but I never do. I always bring way too much food. I can’t seem to count how many meals I’m going to cook and do the math on what to bring. I could have stayed another month comfortably with all that I had to unpack. I wore almost all of the clothes I brought, though. I even wore some hiking clothes two days in a row. I wasn’t bathing, so who cares if my clothes are dirty, too.

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My friend Dan reminded me to save some unpacking for tomorrow, so I gave it up and cooked a veggie omelet, my favorite comfort food. Buster is reading me the riot act, although he stopped for a moment when I gave him a saucer of milk. Bella is taking her usual stand that she’s going to ignore me so I know that she didn’t even know or care that I was gone. Ashok is trying to adapt to sharing me, and she doesn’t seem too happy about it. She’s also going on a post-vacation diet. On the road, she got some of everything I ate, and it’s really not good for her. It’s back to regular dog food fare with the occasional treat. Party’s over for her, too.

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It’s time to put the post-vacation back-to-reality transition plan in place. There’s no getting around going back to work tomorrow, but I can ease myself back into the flow without getting too depressed. Tomorrow evening I will go do something fun and out of the ordinary to remind myself that I can take mini-vacations right here at home. I also bought one souvenir to help remind me of the cooler climes of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I’ll plan on having my hot drink in the mornings out of this mug. I can reflect on hiking the Boone Fork and Tanawha Trails before heading out for the day. Maybe I’ll even go back and read some of my blogs. I’m finding they are a great digital scrapbook for me. It’s an unexpected dividend of my writing. My friends Susan and Gordon in Asheville gave me Bill Bryson’s book “A Walk in the Woods.” I’ll start reading that right away – maybe even tonight. I’ve heard his retelling of hiking the Appalachian Trail is fabulous.

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My new friends in Asheville also told me about a conference in Maine for the Appalachian Trail every other year. I think I’ll do a little research and see if that might be something for me to plan for 2017. My backpacking class starts in October, so that’s right around the corner, too. I believe I may have some exciting hiking trips in front of me with the hiking club right here in Louisiana. I’m looking forward to meeting some new hiking friends and exploring some Louisiana trails… when it’s cooler, of course.

I have a lot to think about and process from my trip. For now, I’m curled up on my chaise lounge in my pretty little house with Buster curled up in my lap and Ashok by my side. I’m home. I had a great trip. I made lots of memories. I met some great people and hung out with some old friends. I faced my fears about getting out and exploring North Carolina on my own, and I survived with flying colors. As far as I’m concerned, I get an A++ on this trip. Now, let’s please hurry up and get into fall.

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