An Early Start
Starting the trail has been my obsession for the last 6 months. I have planned, dreamed, packed, unpacked, repacked, stripped down weight, and practiced everything that I can. I have spent the last 2 weeks desperately updating my weather channel app even thouficial start date isn’t for another week. I have seen reports go from oh my god it won’t stop raining to oh wow this is looking like a beautiful time! Much to my relief everything has cleared up and everything looks calm… too calm. Specifically today, Saturday, the 4th of March, looks fantastic with temperatures starting around freezing getting up into the mid-50s, abundant sunshine, and almost zero wind. Now, I know you didn’t sign up for a weather report, so my apologies. I am telling you these forecast details because I have decided that this is a sign I shouldn’t wait another second to chase my dreams. I start the 2200 mile trek north today. To be completely honest I have been pondering the idea to leave earlier for a while, I just haven’t told many people about it. I, like many others, am not good at the goodbyes a trip like this comes with. If I stayed till the 10th this next week would just about kill me with all the goodbyes I would have to endure. It makes almost no sense for me to wait while spring is moving in. Leaving early gives me more time to enjoy the time of the trail rather than just merely hike it. I have been too restless at home to stay another hour, day or week. My bag is packed, the car is started, I am beginning the hour and a half drive up to Amicalola State Park. These are the last of the first steps to start the journey of my life. I feel no anxiousness. A calm steadiness is here but I can feel a slowly rising wave of excitement coming. None of this seems like it could be happening to me, that it can be real. But it is real. My brain will never be able to banish this moment from my memory for it is the most existential moment I have ever felt, and may ever feel again.
Miles to Mount Katahdin – 2190.3
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Happy trails, fair winds and safe travels on your grand adventure Matthew!!