[at-l] Regrets

Marsha Lee atrailhiker at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 17 05:36:17 CST 2011

Makes me want to be Patch. 

Makes me want to be you.


> Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2011 11:04:05 -0500
> From: AThiker at smithville.net
> To: AT-L at backcountry.net
> Subject: [at-l] Regrets
> You know how sometimes a person will enter your life for a 
> little while and then leave your life for some reason. And, 
> even though they aren't in your life actively anymore, you 
> still think about them, or your time with them, what you 
> learned from and with them, what you experienced together, 
> nearly everyday. The reasons they aren't actively in your 
> life can be good, bad or indifferent. Usually it's just the 
> way it is. The way it turns out.  People are busy and have 
> their lives to live and the next thing you know fifteen 
> years have gone by.
> Back in August of 1998 a guy came into my life while I was 
> hiking the AT.  I was initially intimidated by him a little. 
> The intimidation was not because I thought he was going to 
> cause me harm. It was because I had so much respect for him, 
> what he had done and what he was doing, that I wasn't 
> certain I was worthy of hiking with him.
> The AT, in the wonderful way it works its magic, made it be 
> that he and I would hike together for a time. In that time, 
> the respect increased. The respect turned to love. And, the 
> love to a spiritual connection unlike any other I've ever had.
> We were together when I experienced the most amazing act of 
> nature I've ever witnessed: 90 mile an hour winds on the 
> summit of Mt. Madison. It was here that one of the only 
> regrets of my life occurred.  Because my mind was littered 
> with concern over a lost hiker, a hiker more or less in my 
> care, I may have been thinking of a picture I wasn't 
> currently in.
> So, I left him. I left him in the 90 miles an hour wind. A 
> wind that was blowing rain and sleet so hard it stung when 
> it hit. A wind so strong it took  our breath away. A wind so 
> loud we couldn't talk to each other. I left him even though 
> the trail was like climbing over a pile of ice-covered cars. 
> I left him even though he had only one eye and therefore no 
> depth-perception. I left him, I think, because I thought he 
> was 'unstoppable'.  I should have never left him.
> He made it down the mountain to the safety of a 'hut'. The 
> lost hiker made it up the mountain to the safety of a 'hut'. 
> We were all together again in the safety of a 'hut'.  And, 
> it wasn't until years later that I figured out that I should 
> have never left him on that pile of rocks.
> So, today I found out that my hiking brother, Patch, has 
> another Mt. Madison to climb. And, I'm going to do my 
> damnedest to not leave him there alone this time.
> -- 
> Felix J. McGillicuddy
> ME-->GA '98
> "Your Move"
> ALT '03 KT '03
> http://Felixhikes.tripod.com/
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