Ideas of an epic adventure of my own seem unreal at times, and yet, in my researches, I’ve been coming across the blogs of many older women who have undergone great losses and great grief, and are now finding solo adventures in their latter years. Living in RVs, stealth camping, kayaking in all 50 states, thru-hiking various national trails, pumping iron. It’s as if once women have been set free from all ties, we become bold and adventurous, treating the whole world as our own back yard.
Today, out walking in the desert, I had an interesting revelation. I was thinking about these women and their great adventures, thinking about the possibility of my own adventure walking or living on the road. I was wondering which I should do first, get a van conversion or go walking, when it hit me — do both at once.
I talk about thru-walking the Pacific Crest Trail, maybe walking across the United States, or some other epic walk, but such an athletic feat is beyond my strength and knowledge, at least for now. Even if there weren’t the problem of carrying enough water to get me through long dry sections, there is the greater problem that I don’t like backpacking. I do, however, like seeing the world at a walking pace of about 3 miles per hour.
I know people who would like an adventure but don’t have the financial or physical resources for an epic journey of their own. What if I got the van or camper, let these people use it, even paid for their expenses, and all they would have to do is meet me at the end of each day with my gear and supplies. The rest of the time, they could loll on the beach, enjoy the scenery from a mountaintop, maybe find the inspiration and the time to finally write again.
Meantime, I’d be just walking along, nothing in my mind but the next step, nothing in my pockets but enough water and food to get me to the rendezvous point.
I could even go to where such a willing volunteer lived, and find somewhere to walk around that region.
And if I had extended periods between walks? Come back here and take dance classes, of course.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.