A Completed Appalachian Trail and a Little Letter to All of You!
On September 28, 2023, I finished hiking the Appalachian Trail!
After five years and 2,192 miles, what does it feel like?
No, really. Nothing.
But not in a bad way. I think there are just too many feelings at once to comprehend, and it’s taking a long time to sink in.
There’s the fact that I’m still myself. I’m not some profoundly different person. I’m sorry to report this, for anyone that hopes to hike the Appalachian Trail in hopes of becoming a different person.
I’m still me wherever I go, and you’ll still be you, wherever you go. But don’t worry, I can certainly report that I’ve learned things, and that I’m full of gratitude.
Even in the moment when I reached the top of Mt. Katahdin, I didn’t feel some profound crazy sense of accomplishment for completing the entire Appalachian Trail. I felt a rush, absolutely, but it was the same as any other rush of reaching the top of an epic peak after a tough climb. I was just so excited to be at the top of that mountain on that particular day and was awestruck by the views.
You see, all we ever have is the moment we’re in right now. That’s my biggest takeaway from this whole crazy thing, as I gradually let it sink in. I’ve been home from my last section hike for over a month and seem to just be at the beginning of that process.
Maybe that’s because nothing is over. I’m hoping that I just keep going on more hikes, because I like hiking.
There will be more posts to come, with tales from my last section hike of the last 188 miles of Maine. I’ll also finish up my stories from my second-to-last section hike this past May, that I left hanging when the planning for my final section took over.
Although I’m not quite done putting scenes from the Appalachian Trail into words, I don’t think it’s too early to say thank you, thank you, thank you! The impact it has on me any time I realize that someone has read a post of mine about my time on the trail is profound. It helps me to bring this experience to something beyond just myself, which is a topic I’ve spent a lot of time mulling over while I’ve stared at my feet sloshing through mud for miles on end.
For now, I leave you with some fun pictures of the last section, and later on I’ll leave you with words!
Little Bear (Lil’ Bear?)
It’s been 5 years and I’ve never settled on a permanent spelling of my trail name! There is so much yet to be pondered. 🙂
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