Day 26: Miles 0 – 275

I thought that I would’ve had an on-trail blog post published by now, but my days are busy! These past (almost) four weeks have been a whirlwind of good, bad, crazy, and fun. I have so many thoughts to share with everyone and can’t wait for the adventures to continue!

My Favorite Parts

My favorite things so far: coffee in the morning, town food (obviously), the top of a hard climb, frosty mornings, a cold water flow, PB&J, a shower after 11 days, and my crocs! I am so amazed by how much I love this lifestyle and the routine. I came on this trail without expectations and understanding that if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t force the miles. But I have been BLOWN away by how the trail has exceeded all expectations. I love how every day I learn something new, whether it’s something about my gear, the trail, or the people I’m with. The views thus far have been spectacular – my camera roll is filling up fast! My favorite section has been the Smokey Mountains. It felt like we hiked into a totally different world with all the moss and frost covering the forest. It was absolutely beautiful and every day was a treat. I also love testing out new food combos and seeing what everyone else is eating. My biggest hits so far are combining oatmeal flavors, carrying a whole jar of peanut butter at all times, and honey buns – yum. I also have been converted into a shelter sleeper since we entered the Smokies (reluctantly). Sometimes it’s just easier to not have to set up and break down a tent every time! I could go on forever about things I am enamored with on the trail, but these are just a few!

My Tramily

Now my tramily is truly the BEST part of this whole experience. We are a group of 13 people who range from 18 to 65 years old. We come from different backgrounds, states, political views and all have varying reasons to be on the trail. We have become a tight-knit group that starts and ends the day together even though we all hike at different paces. In no particular order it’s: Me (Platinum), Jedi, Piñata, Workboots, Halfway, 1/4 Tank, Neon, Pegasus, Lunchbox, Shrek, Freebird, Tree Hugger, and Happy Feet. We have jokingly taken to calling ourselves “The Cult” and have been known to provide comedy hour at camp. I would describe us as loud, vivacious, funny, and charismatic (most people like us)! Most times we have too much fun and can always find ways to make each other laugh. The trail would not be the same without them!

The Hard Parts

And of course, it’s not all great views and good laughs. The days and terrain are really tough. Staying positive is hard. Waking up with a wet tent SUCKS! The pointless ups and downs (known as PUDs) are indeed, very pointless. The aches and pains hurt – a lot. The worst part for me was I got the stomach bug on day four in the Smokey Mountains. I was throwing up for 10 hours with no town in sight for two days. I still had to hike eight miles to the next shelter the day I was sick. Mentally and physically that was the worst day for me. Thankfully I slowly recovered over the next three days and was able to keep hiking every day. 1/4 Tank and Jedi stuck with me while I was sick to make sure I was okay and stayed safe. It seems that no matter how hard the day is or how down I get, there’s always something good around the corner to remind me how much I love the trail.

So here I am almost four weeks in and wouldn’t change a single thing about my experience! Every bad and good, ache and pain is worth the miles we hike. I cannot wait to see what else is in store the next few months!

*Please remember to donate to my hiking for a cause with Global Grassroots*. The link with directions is here:https://thetrek.co/appalachian-trail/hiking-for-a-charity-global-grassroots/

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