This is what my life is like on the AT:
- Wake up
- Wish you could go back to sleep
- Roll out of hammock. Brush teeth. Change into smelly hiking outfit. Splash water on face
- Pack hammock, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad
- Eat a healthy breakfast of tortillas smeared with peanut butter and Little Debbie snacks
- “Camel up” with water at stream
- Glance at map
- Hike 5 miles
- Eat Lunch
- Hike 10 more miles
- Take stupid pictures
- High-five a hiker
- Carry a conversation with a squirrel
- Arrive at shelter around 5
- Collect and sterilize water. Inspect feet. Send SPOT GPS Map update
- Cook pasta for dinner. Glance at food pack. Consider eating everything in there. Try to control yourself since you still have 3 days before the next town
- Set up hammock and sleeping bag
- Sign shelter book. Use cute acorn stamp. Read messages from other hikers who have already been here
- Chat with smelly hikers. Compare gear. Compare injuries. Discuss weather. Look at the AT guide for upcoming day’s terrain. Ponder how many miles you can hike tomorrow
- Brush teeth. Try to clean filth off body with a tiny baby wipe. Realize you will always be filthy. Give up
- Crawl into hammock. Pass out. Dream of walking. Dream of Maine. Dream of finishing. Dream of doing this forever
- Wake up. Was that a bear????
I hit a major milestone recently. I have hiked 500 miles!! I’m still in a stage of disbelief that I’ve hiked so far without any issues or injuries. To tell you the truth, I spent all winter in a stage of constant worry — Now, I’m beginning to realize that worrying is a huge waste of brain power. Center your power on the present day.
(and before you leave mean comments, I didn’t tag the shelter. And it’s chalk)
I’ve spent the last few days doing a work-for-stay with a few other hikers at a farm/camp in the Virginia mountains. This was exactly what I needed to renew my commitment to this hike. And my love for this amazing miracle called life.
I’ll be enjoying a festival called Trail Days this weekend– I can’t help but feel slightly guilty for not “making miles,” but what is that saying again?
“Last one to Katahdin wins.”