It’s Been a While
What a whirlwind. I’m over 1,600 miles into the trail now and I often need to pinch myself to make sure it’s all real. The memories of the first three-quarters of the trail blend together and stand out at the same time.
Since I’ve last written a lot has happened: the terrain has shifted, the mountains have grown larger, and I’ve been sleeping in a hammock.
I switched to a hammock around the 1,200-mile mark for two main reasons: I wanted to have a setup that would keep me and my down quilt consistently dry, and I wanted to be able to camp anywhere easily without having to find a flat spot. There were plenty of nights when I got to camp only to find that there were no good flat tenting spots. I saw my friends sleeping in hammocks and was always jealous of their ability to easily set up anywhere. After a rainy week in Shenandoah I made the decision to switch. I’m now in a Warbonnet Blackbird (that’s the type of hammock I have) and I have adjusted quite well. I love tinkering with the setup and enjoy sleeping with a view of the night sky on clear nights.
Being back in the north, the terrain is noticeably more rugged. From the rocks in Pennsylvania to the steep climbs in New York to the mud in Vermont, it is very different from the South. In northern Massachusetts on Mount Greylock the trail got back up above 3,000 feet for the first time since Northern Virginia. The climbs are getting bigger again and this time they aren’t coming with switchbacks. I love the steep climbs and rugged hiking. I grew up with terrain and feel comfortable hiking in it.
I’m in Vermont now. I watched the sunset on Stratton last night and felt right at home among the evergreens. The last quarter of the trail is going to be the most physically and mentally challenging part. I’m excited. Bring it on.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.