Good morning! Daystar here (now more often known as Macon), I'm in Chattanooga, slowly chipping away at putting my post-trail life back together. I've begun cleaning out my gear, and finding places for storage. It feels so strange removing myself from the items that were so heavily relied on for the past six months. All the things I needed for survival were carefully placed (or more often, forcefully smushed) in my backpack, unpacked in the evenings where I made my home for the night, and packed up again each morning. Life was so simple - hike north. Now I'm back in the world of multiples, options, and seemingly endless directions.
As much as I loved life on the trail, I am excited about the next chapter of my life. I have achieved my dreams of moving to New York City to become a magazine designer and of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. My dream now is to own my own business and to make a living as an artist: a graphic designer and printmaker. I began this dream as a side project several years ago, and I now aspire to turn it into a full time career. I loved the movement and flow of the trail, but I now look forward to being stationery and domestic: having the time and space to bake bread, start a garden, and make art. I love working with people, and look forward to designing and printing wedding invitations, baby announcements, personal stationery, and much more. It is such a satisfying and creatively fulfilling experience to take someone's vision and create a beautiful product.
I will continue to reflect and write on this blog where I left off. I want to reminisce and describe my adventures through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the hard trail in Southern Maine, the majestic 100 Mile Wilderness, and of course the surreal day summiting Mount Katahdin. After finishing the trail, I traveled with Gribley & Pants on Fire to the gorgeous island of Martha's Vineyard & historic Boston. This week, I drove to Damascus, VA to speak to future thru-hikers at Warren Doyle's Appalachian Trail Institute. I'm excited to share the details and photos of all these experiences in the coming weeks as I continue to get settled.
For now, I am off to my beloved state of Georgia to visit friends and continue my transition back to real life. I will drive through Chattahoochee National Forest, home of Springer Mountain, where this adventure began just over six months ago.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend. Check back next week for more posts!