|BeBop and Daystar at the farm|
Mom and Dad have been advertising my "reflective post." I thought I would blog more from the trail, but it's hard with such busy days. And it's even harder now to sum up the past month. Simply put, the trail is incredible. It might be a bit cliché to say, but it is impossible to leave unchanged. Everyday is full of new experiences. Most of my days were spent simply walking, usually 15 to 20 miles. You would think such a simple task would become mundane, or boring, but surprisingly there was never a dull moment. I loved looking around and admiring the different types of forest and wildlife that surrounded me. I gained a new appreciation for the little things - who knew how good a shower and warm bed could be? I learned all about trail lingo and the culture of the Appalachian Trail - Bob Pebbles is the new Chuck Norris, Crocs are the cool shoes to have, and AWOL knows all. I met an array of characters who I will tell stories about for years. And the simplicity. Trail life is so simple. All I had to worry about was finding the next water source or whether I should cook a Knorr pasta side for dinner or pasta shells with garlic. Needless to say, I had an unforgettable hike.
What impressed me the most about the AT was the community. The trail brings people from all walks of life together for a single purpose -- to hike. I met a wide range of characters -- day hikers, sections hikers, and thru-hikers, all with different backgrounds and experiences. There is a joyfulness that is contagious. Everyone is happy to be there. And it is impossible not to be happy, too.
In my four weeks, I walked a total of 402 miles in four states, ate a half gallon of ice cream, saw six bears, hiked 34 miles in one day, met loads of hikers, and much much more. Over the next week, there will be separate post for each week I was on the trail and my favorite stories.