Thursday, November 3, 2016


Again, time is flying and it's been over a week since my last update, and things have been great! Since my last post, I've finished Virginia, am into Tennessee, and have less than two-hundred miles to complete!! It feels so weird knowing I'm so close to finishing. Over the last week I've become much closer with my new trail family. They are: Thorny from Virginia, Bluegrass and Unicorn from Pennsylvania, One Piece from Maine, CrocFire from West Virginia, and Kremlin from New York. They all make me laugh and have been such a relief to be around for the last two weeks. We all hike at relatively similar paces and have shared many humorous dinners at shelters and in different towns. I owe them a lot for making this section of the trail so fun.

We spent Halloween in Damascus, VA and I rented a tiny house for the night! I have always wanted to build a tiny house, and this weekend definitely made that desire even stronger. This solidifies my plans to build/buy a tiny house sometime in the near future. We all ended up at the local watering hole in half-assed costumes to celebrate the holiday. It was perfect. Damascus is the home to the largest on-trail party every year, Trail Days. I attended Trail Days the day I left the trail in May for my original knee injury, not knowing it would be four weeks until I returned again. It was nice to revisit Damascus under better circumstances and also while it was far less crowded. Overall, it was a lovely town.

In terms of weather, we have been so fortunate. Not just here in the south, but really for the entire trail. It has barely rained this summer. This, of course, makes the water sources drier than normal, but I'll take that over hiking in the rain day in and day out. The last day it rained, we conveniently had a town day scheduled for Marion, VA. We made up for the yucky weather by going to this amazing Mexican restaurant for lunch AND dinner. It was glorious.

Recently a lot of people, both on trail and off, have asked me why I'm doing this. Originally it was to tackle a pretty awesome adventure with a good friend of mine. Also, to prove to myself that I could do it. It then became so much more. It became the simplicity of trail life, meeting so many amazing hikers and trail angels, and enjoying nature for all the beauty it has to offer. When I had to leave the trail back in May I was devastated. I had planned and prepped for so long, and my knees were sabotaging my hike. I not only overcame the knee pain, but was able to bring myself back to the trail after a four week hiatus. A task that many people would not be able to accomplish. At that point, I had only been hiking for about three weeks and 240 miles - still very green. I am so proud of myself for returning to the trail and sticking it out. There have obviously been hard days, but the good days outweigh them and are the ones I remember most. After summiting Katahdin and being home for three weeks, I was again challenged with returning to the trail. Not only did the task seem daunting because it was about five-hundred miles, I'd be doing it without my Shady Creepers. I'm again proud of myself for returning to the trail to finish what I had started. This experience has been so amazing, and I knew I needed to do it in its entirety. So, even though it will take me seven or eight weeks longer than I had hoped, I still overcame many obstacles to finish this epic journey. I did that. Twice. So in looking back at the trail I did this to prove to myself that I could indeed, walk from Georgia to Maine. The trail has taught me not to sweat the small stuff. It has placed a unique perspective on life's problems and reordered which ones matter and which ones don't. Even with all the challenges, I prioritized this hike and should actually be able to complete it. Pretty badass, I think.

With the end of the trail looming, I'm definitely being thrown into a hyper-reflective state. I'm thinking more and more about after the trail, friendships and relationships, what I should do next, how amazing it is that I've done this, and about all of the beautiful souls I've met along the way. I'm so blessed to have this opportunity. I truly am.

1 comment:

  1. There are no words. Just sitting here taking it all in.