So post-trail life. Still going well.
By all measures of success, we are on the right track. Lots of job applications out there, some interviews and freelance work coming my way.
We also decided aside from our side trip to Cleveland this weekend, we'll leave Chicago Nov. 21. Chicago is getting way TOO expensive for us. It's too tempting to have all these food options around. And Trader Joe's. We never had a T.J. near us and thank God. It's as addictive as REI (which is also dangerously close now - been there twice already).
So November 21, we will head south for an epic road trip to hit some high peaks and go on a backpacking trip with fellow bloggers and thru hikers, Misti/Ridley and Chris/Panther. The next place we have to be is northern Virginia Dec. 10 for a wedding, so we have lots of time to "kill." We are living our life in three-week increments these days ...
All of our gear is aired out and cleaned and ready for our next backpacking trip! Thank you $7 bottle of Febreeze. My (new) brother-in-law thanks you too, as we were airing everything out at their place and he cringed when even standing 5 feet from my sleeping bag.
Our bodies are still stiff and I guess they call this healing. Deal says his feet are still pounding on a daily basis, so I'm not sure how much progress he is making. He went to a concert the other night and could barely shake his hippy booty as he normally does. We still have yet to attempt running. Unfortunately, it's getting colder here in Chicago, so we are not even walking as much. In fact, we have been lazier this past week than we were in the first week off the trail! We are scheduled for 90-minute massages next week (a major good deal we found on Groupon!) and I cannot wait.
For the record, my feet don't hurt, but are still callous and peeling, thus causing them to itch like crazy. I guess I can give up on my aspirations to be a foot model. And I'm pretty sure my feet grew during the hike. My size 7 1/2 shoes barely fit. I have been a size 7 1/2 since college and for the person that does not buy new shoes often, this is not good. It is nice to have access to my sister-in-law's closet right now because she has bigger feet and much nicer shoes!
Rest assured, we are gaining our weight back. Deal's bones are no longer poking through his back and I can hug him without fearing I will break him. I still can't fit in any of my pants and continue to use pants I borrowed from my friend's 16-year-old daughter. I suppose this is a good problem to have, so I am enjoying the skinny version of me for now.
As for the mental part of post-trail life, Deal is perfectly fine and I believe I am too. I dream of the trail every night and am already thinking of how and when we can do another long-distance hike. Overall, I do think I am waiting for a revelation that is not coming. I have yet to comprehend that we actually completed our thru hike and how it changed us.
Anyways, Cleveland, here we come!!