And Before the Beginning, Some Things Have to Come to a Close

The End Before the Beginning

I have never been away from my home for more than four weeks at a time. Four weeks isn’t an insignificant amount of time, but it sure is nothing when compared to the sixish months I have budgeted for this hike. So, needless to say, I am having a lot of last-time-for-a-while experiences, and also some once-in-a-lifetime experiences sprinkled in. A few weeks ago I made a list of 25 things I wanted to do before I left for Katahdin. Things like going to eat with friends I hadn’t seen in a while, watch the sunset over Rochester at Cobbs Hill, and go on a trail run with my mom. I am probably not going to finish all 25 things but so far I have done more than half and I feel pretty good about that. I’m not normally a super-social person but in the past two weeks I have done a lot with friends and family and just generally have been busy. I think I have had something scheduled every day. Some of my friends have even said that it is pretty out of character, but that it all evens out because soon I will be hiking with only a handful of people in the vicinity. The truth is I am pretty tired from these past few weeks. Between trying to get in all of the fun stuff that I want to do and finishing up high school (graduation is tomorrow!) and also finishing packing my boxes I haven’t had much Savannah time—but I am sure I can find some of that on the AT.

Just a Few Things That I Have Done in the Past Weekish

I had my last day working at REI in Rochester.

This was my first real job and it was an absolute blast! I honestly can not think of anything better I could have done during my senior year of high school. I met so many really cool people and always left at the end of my shift with a huge smile.  All of the people I had a chance to work with were awesome and so supportive of my upcoming hike. Getting to know my coworkers and helping customers really helped me get into the mind-set of an outdoor-loving human getting ready to hike for six months (I suppose it just strengthened that mind-set). I absolutely loved my job at REI and hope that I will work there again but, as I have been learning these past few weeks, some things must come to a close to make room for new adventures.

I went hiking in the High Peaks with my family.

My mom, my sister, and I have been working on hiking the Adirondack High Peaks for about six years now. We have climbed 42 of the 46 mountains! Last weekend we climbed Cliff and Redfield from the Upper Works trailhead, totaling a 19-mile round trip. I haven’t been purposely training for my thru-hike but hikes like these remind me that I am in pretty good shape and should not have any issues as long as I start off at a reasonable speed—AKA, as long as I don’t get too overconfident or ahead of myself.

I went on a super awesome adventure with my best friend.

We drove three hours in the pouring rain—like flood warning rain—to hang out at the summer camp she goes to on the outskirts of the Adirondacks. I am so glad to have a friend who shares my crazy love of spending time in nature and summer camp. These kinds of adventures are definitely going to be missed, especially with this ice cream loving girl.

I had my last day of high school!

What a good feeling is it to be done! High school wasn’t really my thing. But is it anyone’s? Anyway, I had a lot of good times and I will try to keep those close but I also had some rough days. I will let those be my reminder that hard days end. One of the best things I did in high school was to take art classes. I think I took them all. The art class that I took this semester was a ceramics course and I made a bunch of pretty cool things—like the human body teapot in the picture above! Though I am not going to do crazy ceramics on the trail I am excited to see where being in nature and hiking all day every day takes my art.

Maine in Six Days!

I am unbelievably excited to be heading out for Maine in just six days, but I have so much left to do! I still need some food to add to the resupply boxes that I am sending myself. I need to make labels for the 15 boxes I will send myself—after all the work the boxes ended up being I need to make sure they have got the right address on them. I also have to say goodbye to so many people. Graduation is tomorrow and I will get to say goodbye to a bunch of people there, but in a lot of ways, it feels unreal that it is all here. It hasn’t fully sunk in that tomorrow is the last time I am going to see a lot of the people who will be there tomorrow.

So this wasn’t super thru-hike centered but this really is my reality right now—pack, hang out with friends and family, eat, sleep, and repeat.

See ya in a few days Katahdin!

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Comments 1

  • Barbara Gaston : Jun 25th

    So excited to see you begin your trip. You may actually get to Maine at the same time as a Fellow hiker I have been following will be starting his flop as he is doing a flip flop. I do have to compliment you as your writing is very well done!!!


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