Mountain Cat: Hear Me Roar
In my first weeks of the AT I’ve experienced just about every kind of weather possible. Fog so thick you can’t see the blazes, soaking rain, freezing sleet and snow, face-numbing wind, and finally, beautiful, warm sunshine.
The ups and downs (including the literal ones) are exhausting. You feel everything so much more intensely (not just physically) at the end of a long day of climbing mountains. My emotions seem more magnified out here, which makes everything just feel so much more important.
There have been some hard days, when I dramatically think I’ll never be warm again, but those days are what makes that first piece of pizza and that hot shower in town pretty much orgasmic. There are days when my shoulders are sunburned and my body (almost) doesn’t hurt, and the sunshine lights up every beautiful detail of moss.
I’ve decided to call them the good days and the hard days, because I don’t think I’ll have a bad day out here. I belong out here; that’s clear to me now.
The longer I’m on the trail the more my mind-set changes. When I started I was still in planning mode, like I’ve been almost my whole life. I planned exactly what I’d eat, how many miles I want to do, the points where I’d take a snack break and lunch. The more days that pass I realize that’s what I came here to escape. Now I eat when I’m hungry (which, let’s be honest, is always), I break at amazing views, or when it’s sunny or I’m tired. If the sun’s out and I’ve been cold for days, guess what, I’m lying in this field for over an hour just because I can. It’s not about how many miles you can get done in one day. It’s about how much you enjoy them, how much you soak them all in.
In this last month I’ve become this person fellow thru-hikers call Mountain Cat. I feel so sure and strong. I feel happy. I feel connected. I’m coming for you Katahdin.
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.