And then, I'm also spending a few days here and there at other things, like the day I'll be at girls' camp, and stuff like that. My vacation evaporated without leaving me any room for a backpacking trip. I came really close to canceling my participation in the family reunion trip to make room for it, but I ended up not. I've also threatened to see if I can pull something together in the desert for either Thanksgiving or Christmas break, although that will be very unpopular at home. Actually, Christmas is a no-go because my oldest son and his (still new) wife will be coming over from Rexburg, and he's been missing us and home and feeling nostalgic in general, so I want to be there for him.
What does that mean for 2019, then? We've got a family trip to Florida planned to see the new Star Wars Galaxy's Edge attraction (although if Star Wars movies don't stop sucking so hard soon, my enthusiasm for this will plummet. I'm already pretty "meh" about DisneyWorld in general compared to where I was ten years ago.) A good friend of mine has really stepped up his efforts to get an Isle Royale backpacking trip scheduled—which now, even my wife is threatening to maybe come on! I'm a little guarded about this; although I think it'd be great if she was into backpacking, she does have a pretty gimpy knee, and I don't know that this means she'll start liking it. For that matter, as terrible as it sounds, I don't know that I want her going on my backpacking trips with me. I see a lot of her as it is, naturally, since she's my wife. And as an introvert (who can admittedly run a pretty convincing extrovert subroutine on demand—for a while, anyway) who sometimes just needs some alone time to recharge, I've come to enjoy the solo trips in part because they're solo trips. This Isle Royale trip may turn into a big deal; the friend who's trying to get us to go will probably also bring his wife, some of his kids, maybe his son-in-law, and it wouldn't even shock me to find out that he's ended up inviting more people by the time we get that far.
Not only that, I'm a fan of the American west in particular, and although a quiet little island national park in the middle of Lake Superior sounds nice, it's not really the kind of destination that I think of when I think of backpacking.
I've also got two and maybe all three of my brothers threatening to come along on my next backpacking trip out west, which would be fun, but also means that I'd have to work with them on an itinerary that might be tricky timingwise as it is. So, I'm giving some consideration to holding on to enough vacation to do something here in 2019 too, but I don't know what it would be. The one brother who's most wanting to come along is talking about the Teton Crest Trail, which is also something I'd love to do. He's also, however, talking about some Southwest destinations, as he lives in the Phoenix area. That opens up a different season of possibilities in Arizona, southern Utah, and even New Mexico, western Colorado or southern California.
|Factory Butte near Capital Reef National Park in southern Utah, a potential October or November destination.|
In another four years, Young Desdichado #1 will be in his late mid-twenties, four years married, probably out of school and likely with a toddler or baby (or even more than one) in tow. Young Girl Desdichado #2 will be mid-twenties, hopefully closing in on marriage and/or a career or some kind of settled future, and therefore not a source of immediate worry. Young Desdichado #3 will be wrapping up or having just wrapped up his mission and going off to college, probably in Rexburg too, and Young Desdichado #4 will have just left on his mission too.
That might be a good time for me to take a sabbatical from work, if I can afford it and figure out the Byzantine paperwork required, and do something big and dramatic like hike the Arizona Trail, or something like that for 6 weeks or however long it takes. I can probably do half of that with vacation, and only take a month-long sabbatical. Heck, if that works out well, I might want to think, a couple years or so further down the line, about the PCT or CDT even.