The A.T. Taught Me to Live…But It’s Not Over

10270560_10154103560210117_3642584681091494696_nAlthough I had never set foot on the Appalachian Trail before we left for our hike, I had read probably about 15 books and watched a few documentaries about it too so I had a little bit of an idea of what to expect. Even so, there were many things that surprised me about the trail.

I had a pretty strong feeling that I was going to like the trail, but it’s hard to really know until you get out there. It’s kind of a bizarre thing to do- wake up every, pack up all your stuff, and walk north. And then do it all again the next day and the day after, for six months. I wasn’t sure if it was something that would lose it’s magic and become more of a chore than anything. I knew I was probably stubborn enough to finish the trail whether I liked it or not, but I was surprised when I took to the trail like a duck to water. For someone who had never had a great love of camping and who had only backpacked one day in my life, I had no idea I would fall in love with the entire thing. I really never got sick of any of our “chores” like filtering water and setting up and taking down camp. They just became the new normal of my life, but I never grew bored of them.

I also was kind of surprised that I never once thought of quitting. I think it’s fairly normal for a thru hiker at some point in the hike to have thoughts of wanting to go home but that never happened for me. There were difficult days and certainly days when I didn’t really feel like hiking but never once did I wish I was somewhere else. I loved the lifestyle of the trail- sleeping in a different place every night, always moving forward, never spending too much time in one place, sleeping and waking with the sun, seeing the stars every night.

10268575_10154016312475117_3351302742704982048_nI also wasn’t expecting the trail to change me as much as it did. I thought it would be something that I accomplished and then moved on from. But the lessons I learned on the trail have changed the way I think of life and has made me a better person. I have more confidence and I care more genuinely about people. I’m not sure when my next adventure will be but I can’t wait to find out! There is a possibility of a Pacific Crest Trail thru hike in my future- stay tuned for more details!

4 thoughts on “The A.T. Taught Me to Live…But It’s Not Over

  1. It’s truly amazing to hear that you never once thought of leaving the Trail. Not just in Virginia or Pennsylvania, but over much of the Trail, most thru-hikers think somewhat often of the option. You would have been an amazing fellow hiker to have been around I think…

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