1 Year. 10,000 Blazes
A full year has come and gone since I reached the summit of Springer Mountain, GA and officially started my thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. Looking back, it is absolutely crazy to think about everything that has happened and how much I have learned in such a short amount of time.
At the start of my hike, I never would have imaged that I would have to turn my NOBO hike into a Flip Flop, followed by having to get off the trail after about 600 miles due to a stubborn inner ear issue. And although my dream was to finish the AT all in one shot, I am a believer that everything happens for a reason. Turns out, life surprised me with a few exciting things that probably would have never happened if I did not get off the trail when I did.
That being said, I am currently in an exciting season of life. I have a considerable amount of miles in my rear view, yet I have many miles in my future that keep my thoughts constantly drifting back to the AT. Not a day goes by where I don’t think of our beautiful trail and how with each hike I take, I am one step closer to completing all 2,000 miles of it.
I have not given up on my dream. I have instead, adapted my dream to finishing the whole trail, even if not all at once. Since officially getting off the trail, I have hiked almost an additional 100 miles of the AT in the form of day hikes, have completed another state, and have big plans with more states and 200+ miles for this coming summer. This past year has truly been a year full of while blazes for me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
One of the best perks of my current situation, is that it has allowed me to hike on the Appalachian Trail during all seasons and through almost every weather condition imaginable this year. I was able to see parts of the trail during the winter that may thru hikers see in the summer, and vise versa. So, as a way of both looking back on my journey and celebrating the beauty of our trail, join me in spending a year on the AT (in about 2 minutes worth of pictures).
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