A wise man named Larry, leaving the Appalachian Trail a day earlier than planned, commented that he had greatly underestimated the difficulty and overestimated his ability.
Mike cut his hike of the Arizona Trail by approximately half. Nevertheless, he completed an impressive 67 miles in 6 days and camping out in the wild 4 nights. Portions of the terrain surprised him with its ruggedness, and of course, he had to adapt to the altitude.
I served as roadie, enjoying my days sipping wine with friends, writing, walking, and sleeping in clean comfortable beds at night.
We returned home after 10 days and were rewarded. Now that the boys are solidly teenagers, there can be a significant amount of sulking in the house. Returning from their flu shots, they greeted us cheerfully (wow!), with full frontal hugs (double wow!!). Even Blue Boy wrapped his arms around me rather than simply leaning his head in my embrace. Mowgli required some encouragement, but did not writhe out of my arms until I was ready to release him.
“Did you miss me?” I asked.
“Were you gone?” answered Simon. Followed closely by “yes.”
And there was laughter. At least through dinner, at which point an argument ensued and everyone retreated to their corners.