April 1st, 2022 - July 7th, 2022
Total days: 97
Zero days (days off): 4
Average: 22.6 MPD
Completed AT Thru-hikes: 2
It really is full circle. In a lot of ways I feel like standing back atop Mount Katahdin tied up the loose ends. My naïve 20 year old self interweaved with the now. This moment was once a memory I looked back on with nostalgia, fear, triumph, true happiness, and longing, and was now once again rebirthed.
In ways thru-hikes are fleeting moments in time, an opportunity that a lot of people hold in high regard. An opportunity some people may only chase once or upwards of three times before it fades out of their lives completely. Becoming a thread in the fabric of their their history. Sometimes I wonder too if backpacking will eventually fade into my background, becoming something I can recall through story but no longer live. I wonder if in ways long distance hiking is a form of escapism and if I’m avoiding the hard truths and realities of the real world. I wonder that even though I hold these experiences in such high regard and treat them with such focus, energy, and love that I’m falling behind. These thoughts are just ripples upon the surface, for they flow so much deeper and complex.
I had the opportunity in the 9 days before I left for Montana to back out, I had work planned I could have fallen back on. But there was no doubt or distraction in my mind, I was chasing my intention with feverish strength. There is something deeply meaningful to following through on your words/intentions. Something I fail to always do in relationships, obligations and to myself. I understand that this particular intention is inherently selfish and relies a great deal on the help of friends, family, and strangers. But it can function as a building block to being a better person and friend to those I care deeply for and those I haven’t yet met. I’m moving at my own speed and in my own wake. As of now I have an insatiable hunger to push deeper, finding the point of my minds malleability, fostering change for the better, but also falling into the pitfalls of my own flaws. For now I will remain centered on my immediate and continue pushing hard on the CDT.
For all the help, kindness, generosity, and good wishes that were extended to me on the Appalachian Trail, I’m grateful from the bottom of my heart.
To: Mom, Dad, Emme, Uncle Bill, Creekside Paradise, Phil & Caroline, Greasy Creek, Shortcut, Hambone, Sarah, The Broken Fiddle, Neville, Twig, Julie & John Hoffman, Stanimals, Alex & Jake, Kenton, Brett P., Chet, Maine Roadhouse, Patience, Cowboy, Kelly, Scott S., Gen/YMG, Susan/cascadia, Christina/topo, Dandelion, Hummingbird & Casper, KT, Poet, Millinockett Sarah, Seth, Jamie, the Argonauts, Derek, Tree, the many different churches that gave me a roof to sleep under, the many strangers that gave me rides to town, and all the hikers I met along the way. I couldn’t have made it without each and every one of you ❤️