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Travel Resolutions, Part II: Hiking the Appalachian Trail with Dad

You recently asked, "What travel resolutions do you plan to make for 2001?" Mine is as much for my father as for myself.

This past spring, my 71-year-old father rode his bike from California to Tennessee and had a miserable time with the traffic. In fact, he was run off the road near Utah, and ended up accepting a ride to Missouri.

I had been scared for him when he told me of the problems he encountered on the road, as any loving son would be. I suggested that a walk along the Appalachian Trail was a better idea for his next trip, not another lengthy bike trek.

The last time we traveled together was six weeks in the autumn of '72. We biked through Western Europe until our different goals and paces sent us in different directions. I went to Crete and then Israel as a kibbutz volunteer for a year. He went to Italy, Greece, Spain and the Canaries -- still with the bike. Since then, we have logged many miles between us, in trips domestic and foreign, but none together.

Now, however, he has talked me into doing the Appalachian Trail for a few weeks together in early summer. He's probably in better shape than me (I write Internet software from home), and so I just hope my pace doesn't frustrate him too much. But the point of this tour is to spend time looking from side to side -- not to make tracks. There's a good chance we'll both end up healthy and fulfilled. You can aim for a destination, but it's always the journey that counts most.




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