Friday, January 31, 2014

Take This Winter, Please, or When Andrew Caught Cabin Fever

Snowy Sequoia National Park

I'm sure you've all been anticipating it, so here it is. Yep, It's my second annual post announcing my weariness of the winter. Unlike last year, this one seems justified, as for the first time in a while it's actually been a real winter. Here in northern Illinois, it was mostly cold from mid November through to Christmas, and it just got worse after Christmas. So far I've only sat through one truly major snowstorm (the one that dumped almost a foot on Central Illinois the first weekend of January), but there has been plenty of smaller snow events, and the temperatures and wind have been even worse.

Of course, compounding the issue this year was my bout with Pneumonia. I appear to be out of the woods now, but for a while there things were not so great. Had I not gotten to the doctor when I did, it could have been even worse. Eight days in the hospital, followed by a subsequent week of recovery at my parent's house just added to the sense of cabin fever I had already developed.

Because of my illness setting back my recovery, I won't be getting back on a trail until March at the earliest. This means that even if February is an unseasonably warm month, I'll still be mostly stuck to walking in the mall, on treadmills, or around my neighborhood. It's better than a month ago, but it still leaves me wanting.

As such, I'm a bit restless, a bit fidgety. My body and mind is screaming get on a trail RIGHT NOW. Of course, this is not a feasible option at this time, so I have to make myself content with reading books about the AT and PCT*, checking up with websites such as, and thinking ahead towards the thawing warmth of March and April, when I'll be able to get back out on those trails. It alleviates some of the wanderlust, but not all of it. Like the lingering side effects of my illness, I just have to get through it until it is gone, or I can deal with it.

*Are there some book reviews and recommendations coming soon? Perhaps. You'll just have to stay tuned to find out.

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