June Recap NJ, NY, CT, & MA

Soft in the  Middle

I don’t know how it happened, we were crushing such big miles heading into New Jersey. I thought for sure we would knock out these for smaller states in no time at all. instead between the deli blazes, visitors, and general lollygagging, it felt like it was taking forever to get through these supposedly easy states. Looking back I wouldn’t change a thing! every awesome Italian sub or Philly cheesesteak was worth the extra miles. Having family or friends join us on the trail is a huge gift and worth every extra minute. The extra town visits with fun nights where we got to connect with so many of our fellow thru-hikers – shout out to the Warwick DriveIn for letting us all camp there for a free movie!

Like so many things in life, it came at a price though. I got soft. Mentally I just didn’t want to do big miles. Physically my muscle memory was forgetting how to tackle the hills. Where were my trail legs and mind? Summer fun back home was on my mind and when the hiking day was hard and hot my “why exactly am I doing this?”  became tougher to answer.

Not the First and Not the Last

Oftentimes while hiking I think of all those who have hiked this trail before me. My trail angel hosts were both badass women in their 70s that have hiked all over the AT, the US, and the world.  We talked about the changes in the long-distance hiking experience: with food, hostels, technology, and mostly gear- so much lighter and more efficient. Ultimately though the trails are the same and true grit and friends are still key ingredients to a successful hike.

The names of the peaks and landmarks are old and historic on the trail. I particularly love that in an age where man-made structures like sports arenas change with each sponsor, the New England names that are probably centuries old and fitting like “Knee Deep Pond”.

The class of 2022 thru-hikers is already reminiscing about earlier days on the trail, like when we met each other, funny stories at hostels or camp, and whose finished and who’s off-trail. We know this precious time is ticking away and each step brings us to a goal and an end. We want to remember it all.

I acknowledge and applaud all the future thru-hikers out there. I can only hope in my 70s to be a trail angel who is telling the Class of 2042 stories of our old school packs that weighed a whopping 25 lbs!
Happy Trails,






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