Taking Stock after 500 Miles under My Belt
Everyone keeps saying I’ve made it through the tough stuff. Physically this may be true, but lately I’m starting to feel that I may have some huge mental battles ahead of me.
First of all, it has been awhile since I’ve posted. Since then, I’ve hiked through New Hampshire and most of Vermont, or Vermud. The Whites were incredible. I met a bunch more SOBOs, reunited with others, hiked with my uncle, and accomplished my goal of swimming more (and I’m still working on keeping that up). I also counted my 4,000-footers, and I’m proud to report that I am at 19 out of the 48.
By the time I got to Hanover, NH, I was so ready for a day off, as my last zero was in Rangeley, ME. My aunt met me at Lou’s for lunch, where I got the famous cruller french toast and my free doughnut. Then my mom came up with Lily, who greeted me with many licks, to head to the family lake house. First, we made a very important stop at EMS for a new pair of shoes and a new pack, as mine was eight years old and giving me issues.
I took two zeros at the lake house. Although it was a good break for the body, it was pretty tough mentally. With a lot of help from my aunts and my mom, I submitted my applications for veterinary school, all except for one supplemental application. It was really stressful and emotional, especially coming off the trail where I hadn’t been worrying about it or even really thinking about it much. However, with that mostly done, I got back on trail with Muddy Boots!
That first day, we didn’t push too far, but we did meet up with a friend- Magnot. Magnot was one of the three women I met on that first day at Katahdin Stream Campground. She went all the way to Rangeley, and, of course, I forgot to say goodbye. Luckily, she had given me her contact info and the mile marker near where she lives. Sure enough, Lily and I went to visit and stay for the night. Magnot fed me an amazing dinner fresh from her garden, and I was definitely a little reluctant to leave in the morning.
After that, Vermont has been kind of lonely friend-wise. I caught up with a couple other SOBOs at the Yellow Deli in Rutland, and I look forward to seeing them again soon. It’s been nice to have Lily for company. I do still worry about her day to day, but it will be great to have her for this section until we meet up with my mom again in a couple weeks.
Moving forward, I am worried about getting lonely on the trail and feeling my own version of the Virginia Blues (basically out of the honeymoon phase of the hike). I am determined to see this through, but I am also determined to enjoy it. I think it will be important for me to not feel like I need to put in a ton of miles, and there are quite a few friends behind me, so that may be an incentive not to overdo it. There is still so much to look forward to, but I’m especially excited for Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Those are pretty far for now, though, so I’ll have to find moments each day to focus on.
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