First State Feels
Okay. This is real now.
This thought crossed my mind as I rounded the trail and revealed a small, wooden sign telling me I had reached one of my first major milestones. I had made it to the Georgia/North Carolina border.
While the mileage of the border is a small fraction of the Appalachian Trail, it signifies a commitment to pushing on.
For me, Georgia was 78 miles of figuring shit out.
I can’t say I have my trail legs or that I’ve learned all there is to know about thru-hiking, but I can say that Georgia taught me more than I could have ever imagined.
Setting off as a solo hiker on the Appalachian Trail, I was prepared to spend time alone. However, I quickly learned you’re never truly alone on the trail. There are always new friends to be made, and new trail characters to tell stories of.
Georgia taught me that we’re all in this together — separately.
Early on, hikers often find a group to travel with, but throughout the first state, we may find those paths and paces diverge. It is often in this time that solo hikers learn a hard lesson: there is no tramily that can replace your need to hike your own hike.
But the beauty of Georgia is the confidence it gives you, and the border of GA/NC is a vital reminder of what their milestones mean to you.
For some, crossing the border means they’re one step closer to home. For others, they’ve never been farther from home.
We all reach that line with different intentions and goals, but we do it together.
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