The idea stuck in my craw at first. Four days on the Appalachian Trail (the A.T. to us cognoscenti)? I’d never even been camping before. My wife was excited at the prospect, though. I could see that she wanted to go. At the time, I was changing my ostomy every fifth day so, barring some problem, I would be okay. But problems were a distinct possibility, I said. I’d be sweating a lot, which could necessitate premature changing. In the middle of the woods? With no hot water? What would I do, sit on a rock? We went. I stuck two ostomy changes in my pack and hoped the heat wouldn’t mess with it. We had a borrowed tent, a water filter, a small camp stove, all the gear we needed. From our research, we knew where all the springs were for water refills. The most important item which each of us had was our poncho, since it poured unremittingly for the first three days. The trail was either uphill or downhill; that was it. It was awash most of the time. We had to keep wringing out our socks. There was no scenery to marvel over, since the trail itself, where we were in North Carolina, was a green tunnel. We had to keep our eyes focused on the three feet directly before us so as not to trip on a protruding stone or tree root. My intrepid spouse enjoyed herself much more than I did, but we reached our goal. Filthy, caked with mud, damp all over, hungry as black bears, we stumbled into the Nantahala outdoor center restaurant and chowed down. Needless to say, I haven’t been in a tent since.