Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
Now that we have a perfectly comfortable home on wheels, my husband has decided he wants to walk from Mexico to Canada on the Continental Divide Trail. I am to be his support team, traveling along and camping nearby. He says he will come off the trail every 2 to 10 days as we move north through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. I want him to check this off his bucket list, but I’m just not comfortable camping in remote areas by myself. He says I will be fine, but he doesn’t have the same fears that I have. How should I handle this so that I can be a good support team spouse and still feel comfortable as I move through some rather remote areas of the Rockies.
--Reluctant Loner in Laramie
You have come to the right head doctor for this answer. First, you have every right to feel your own fears and your husband should lend an understanding ear to those feelings. He is lucky that you are willing to support him, and not refusing to travel along at all. The way most long distance trail hikers work out the support system is through the postal service. They reach a town stop and have a package waiting for them with food and gear they will need for the next leg. In your case you will be that system. You do not need to wait out in the boondocks. Along the CDT there are beautiful small towns with safe and friendly campgrounds. You can enjoy the town atmosphere, libraries, movies, restaurants and people, while you wait for your husband to arrive.
It will be a great adventure for both of you. My wife and I did the same thing in 1999. We wrote a book together and you can read it online for free (Click Here) or buy it on Amazon. If you are like my wife. She enjoyed my absence so much she had me keep walking all the way to Jasper, Alberta. She just said to me the other day, “There are things about you I love so much that you never do anymore.” I said, “Like what?” She said, “Like being gone!”
You will find that taking a hike can strengthen not only legs, but relationships.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink