Not Every Day is a Good Day but Every Day is a Great Day

I’ll admit that the title for this blog is the result of me fumbling the phrase “not every day is good but there is good in every day”. Nevertheless, I have opted to keep it as I have now used it several times on the trail. I have found that there is truth to my mistake. Not every day is a good day but every day is a great day.

Not Every Day on the Appalachian Trail is a Good Day

It is true that not every day on the Appalachian Trail is a good day. But it is also true that every day out here is great. I’ve heard several times that a bad day on the trail is still better then a good day of work. That is not always true in the moment and maybe that is because I have loved every job that I’ve had, but in the grandeur of the trail experience it is true.

Not every day on the trail is good. I have seen hikers with crippling injuries. I have seen hikers lose essential pieces of gear. I have seen hikers miss their loved ones at home. I have seen tramilys be separated under the dark cloud of an injury.

I have had pains. I have spent three straight days hiking through pouring rain. I have taken my first falls backpacking. I have been the muse of pink blazing, forced to navigate an uncomfortable situation. I have also been separated from people that I have come to care a lot about and have not seen then in multiple weeks. I worry that I will not see them again. Not every day is a good day.

Overcoming the Bad Days

I will say that though not every day is good, I have seen my fellow hikers push through and overcome their bad days.

I watched as a woman with a crippling injury limped her way into camp, throwing her fist in the air as the rest of the shelter cheered for her because she reached her destination. Hours past her expected time, but making it regardless.

I have watched as hikers rallied and offered their own pieces of gear to replace the essentials that another hiker had lost. It was raining, the shelter was full and a friend had lost his tent poles. It wasn’t long before he had a few tent offers to choose between.

I have watched as hikers added some extra elevation gain to the end of their day so that they could get enough service to call home. Pacing the mountain tops, tired, burnt out but talking to their wives, husbands, children, parents and friends.

I didn’t have the joy of watching but I got an update that the tramily that was separated due to an injury was not separated long. I heard the moment that the injured member caught up and wrapped his arms around his unsuspecting family was a beautiful one.

Not every day is good but every day is great.

Ones Best Day May Be Another’s Worse Day

It is important to remember that even though you had a great day, another may not have had a good day. I had this reminder when my friends Snail Mail, Liberty and myself were sitting around a picnic table, writing in our journals. Liberty asked me to a read a day, I asked him to pick a day for me to read. Just by chance he had chosen the first day that we had met. I read my journal from that day and it had been a great day. My body felt good. The miles came easy, there was trail magic, my spirits were high and I was surrounded by friends. I asked him to read a day in return, the same day. He looked it over and warned Snail Mail and I that it was sad. It was not a good day. It started funny enough. He had redirected a few of the hikers from our shelter as they started off but ended up circling back. Unfortunately, as he began to hike, his knee failed him. He wrote about the pain he was in. He wrote about the disappointment and being unable to complete the amount of miles he set for himself that day. He wrote about his concerns and the long days he had before him. He had not had a good day, but as we reflected on our days and the vast contrasts between them, we learned about each other and how different peoples days can be on the trail. We started at the same shelter, we started with the same hopes and attitudes. I had a good day, Liberty had not.

Liberty reflected on the days journal. He remembered how hard it had been and how disappointed he was. Despite the memory, he was happy that he could reflect on that day and be proud that he had done any miles at all. He was happy to reflect on how far his injuries had come, his knee was no longer much of a bother. In fact, after the day we read our journals we shared a few more shelters but in the end I was no match for his miles. I am sad that we have separated once more. but I am happy to know that he will read this and that one day I will catch up to him as he had caught up to me.

Every Day is a Great Day

I know that I have written plenty about bad days. But the truth is that each of those days were great. Despite the pain, the cold, the moisture, the unease and the discomfort, every day is great. We have all signed up for a hard but rewarding adventure. None of us came out here expecting it to be easy or comfortable. I am finding that as I am writing this that is easier for me to write about the bad times then the good times. You can put words to the bad days. This muscle hurt, that mile beat me, this bad thing happened. But I can not describe to you the good times. I can not describe to you the feeling of walking through the Great Smoky Mountains. Scaling a mountain ridge that has been blanketed by wildflowers. I can’t describe the peace that comes after a day of climbing, sitting on top of a bald, watching the most beautiful and panoramic sunset. The energy that those around you can funnel into you when you have nothing left. The comfort of the sun when you have spent so many hours in the wet cold.

I can tell you about the misfortunes of the trail. That is easy.

I can not tell you about the fortunes of the trail. Its mother natures greatest secret. I can tell you ever day is great but you may not believe me until you experience it.

If you can brave the discomforts of the trail then you will find that there is so much to reap. Too much to put into words.

I am grateful for the trail in this way. I feel as though I can speak for other hikers as well because this is a common topic of conversation. The trail reminds you of all the things we had taken for granted. It has also reminded us how much there is around us to be grateful for. Maybe we all need to be humbled, to have these dark days and these dark moments so that the good days, the good moments can shine brighter.





My name is Alex Tucker and I am fully invested in this endeavor. I plan to be consistent on this platform but if you would like to know more about me and my time on the trail you can follow me on Instagram @nobo.nomad!

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Comments 2

  • Ron McHam : Apr 23rd

    I loved reading your recent Blog! Not every day is a good day……… But every day is a Great day!
    Good Luck to you and keep on trucking.

  • Turn To : Apr 24th

    You have a way with words, thanks for sharing your journey with us all. Fly high Birdie!


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