Halloween weekend backpacking, aging and choosing a healthy state of mind…

Things surely change as you get older. Interests, friends, ideals. I used to live for the next social gathering; anticipate partying one day after another when Friday would finally come after a long week. We would pick a house party, a pub or a plot of land to throw a fire on and hang out until 5am, making a pit stop at Denny’s for breakfast on the way home and coming in with the sun coming up behind us. I actually first met B at a house party when we were 19!

Now instead of the once thought out Halloween costumes and party hopping , we more choose to stay home and make some food and watch movies, or hike into the woods on an early Saturday morning, make camp and dinner and hit the hay by 7:30pm so we can wake up and do it again the next morning. 

I both love and despise how things change. This is probably the 2nd or 3rd Halloween in a row we’ve opted out of or just didn’t feel like participating in and it’s so strange but so good. I LOVE Halloween and fall and the chill in the air. I have just not been feelin’ it the last few years. I do sometimes miss the social aspect of such festivities, but it isn’t my happy place anymore. At our age, wedding receptions are the new house parties. Instead of starting at 10pm or 11pm, they are ending and we are ready to go home and get comfy. #Old.

I would consider myself an absolute introvert more than anything. I only want to be alone, with my husband or with our families anymore. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. With social media available these days and people of all ages text messaging you do keep up with your friends, extended family and acquaintances; just in an entirely different and truthfully more convenient way. (I said it. Convenient.) It’s the way it is now. We are all busy. Nobody’s busy is busier than someone else’s. We’re all tired equally but with different stressors. 

Back to social media. Most people over share and we ALL share only the highlights we want people to see. Rarely will people talk about their real personal struggles or their not-so-perfect home lives. It’s okay to not have it all because nobody does. 

I personally feel lucky. I live my every day life and I choose all of it to be a highlight. Even the crap. You should learn from it, not bury it. It sucks, but sh*t happens. Embrace it. I’ve lived with off and on anxiety and depression for as long as I could remember and since B came into my life as a permanent fixture almost 6 years ago everything has sincerely been so good. He brings out the best in me yet naturally and healthily he annoys the crap out of me most of the time while doing things that irk me beyond belief. And I him, trust me.

With our personal life choices and my opting to be in a better state of mind clarified with spending as much time in nature as I can, every day is good even when it isn’t. I understand that mental illness is not a chosen thing, it is a serious involuntary sickness. But you CAN HELP IT. You have to want to. Choose to self medicate with positive approaches instead of negative ones. I don’t want to drink myself to sleep. I don’t want to pop pills for temporary fixes and hazy brain. Give me the raw feelings. I don’t judge anyone for doing so however. If that is what works for you, that is fantastic. Medication has never helped me longer than a few months.

I wouldn’t have made it through my grandmother’s death had B not been there to pick me up numerous times, and annoyingly push me on. I am thankful for my best friend for sacrificing his comfort and his limits to live a life that I love in order to help me. I AM bragging. I don’t care. I will never take this human for granted. 

That all being said, here’s a post on what I and we have done since my last entry. Friday was my last full day helping my mom and dad out with my niece and nephew. I took my sweet niece for the same walk I took my nephew on days before. We had Cash with us!

Saturday B and I packed up early and left for one of our favorite state parks in Missouri; Cuivre River. We have never stayed in any of the backpacking camps so it was great to explore some trails we have never been on. 

Both dogs came with us and they did great. Cash has never been camping. He’s done plenty of day hikes with us but never an overnight or car camping. Little guy kept up just fine for 11.5 miles over the course of 24 hours! 

Within the first 20 minutes yesterday Bane found a turtle (he LOVE HATES turtles.) You can actually see the drool where he tried to pick the turtle up. We also saw a doe cross the trail!

Everything was beautiful. There are no real views or anything spectacular here. Just a walk in the woods. Sometimes that’s all you need. The trees are beginning to shed their leaves and every step has a crunch. There are golds, reds, oranges and pinks in every direction. 

We put in 6 miles and stopped at this beautiful pavilion for a lunch and nap spot for an hour.
We had 2 miles to go before we got to camp. We were the only ones there which is preferable!​

Backpacking wine is the best wine. 

The sunset was beautiful. 
Loving my Eno Twilights!​

We slept with the rain fly off and Cash was enthralled by the night noises. ​We had service here so we watched some Netflix, drank wine and played with the GoPro nightlapse some more!

Temps got down to 61 last night and the four of us slept comfy and warm all smushed in our little 2 person tent.

This morning the sunrise was pleasant and inviting.

The 3.5 mile trek to the car was also lovely. I’m just amazed at the difference between a lush green forest and a naked autumnal one. Fall hiking is phenomenal. We saw a huge buck this morning, as well as a lone backpacker and a couple miles along, a larger backpacking group and some Boy Scouts.

I loved this Halloween weekend. It’s a lot different than my past Halloween weekends. We both still have a lot to do before hitting AT sections next year. I am thoroughly obsessed with this chapter in my life. My feet hurt, my back hurts and I’m exhausted. But my head is clear and my heart is full and that’s what matters to me.


IG: @pottsiepackin

2 Comments on “Halloween weekend backpacking, aging and choosing a healthy state of mind…

  1. Looks like fun. I see you got a pck for your dog. We had packs on all our golden retrievers, but Mongo has always refused to go anywhere with a pack on. Happy outdoors Halloween.


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