One of My Favorite Days on Trail…

My mom recently commented on one of my photos on social media, “I hope you never get numb to the views or the beauty.” The comment made me smile and it also made me reflect a little bit. I don’t. Even when I’m having a bad day, I don’t take any of it for granted and the views still get me. It’s such hard work to get to those views. The majority of the time I’m hiking through what is known as the green tunnel, or oftentimes it’s rainy (ugh) and I can’t see the view, so when I do get one, I’m grateful.

Sometimes the views bring me to tears in the moment, but for the most part, I think the magnitude of what we are doing out here hits me when I look back at the pictures as I go to post them on social media or make a new blog post. That’s when I really get emotional. There are so many memories/photos, and at the moment it’s all still a blur.

That said, I replied to my Mom’s comment, “I don’t get numb, but if the view is more than .2 off the trail, I’m not going!” With all the miles we have to get done, longer side trips to a view just don’t happen. There are always exceptions though.

One of my most favorite days on trail was when we stayed at a shelter that was 0.8 off-trail, which again, we typically don’t do. So much extra walky. In this case, we had heard that there was a great sunrise from the shelter-directly from your sleeping bag, so we took the longer blue blaze to Guyot Shelter near Bond Mountain/Franconia Ridge.

The side trail to the shelter already had amazing views, so we were super excited to see the sunrise (and hopeful there would be one) the next morning. We ended up getting extra lucky with both a sunset and sunrise, but the real excitement was while I was sitting outside the shelter after dinner.

I sat there watching the sun go down and the hustle and bustle of about 50 other hikers. I kid you not. It was Labor Day weekend and we had no idea until we arrived that this was a super popular shelter for overnighters/weekend camping. Throw in a three-day weekend and voila—a mountainside Holiday Freaking Inn.

The place was packed. I mean packed. Luckily we got there fairly early and scored a spot in the shelter…I digress. So I was sitting there after dinner and I felt someone staring at me, I looked up and it was Chuckwagon, who we had not seen since Southern Virginia!

Chuckwagon is The OG as far as our ever-evolving tramily goes. He was still headed North and our paths serendipitously crossed at that shelter. I screamed with excitement—it was SO good to see him.

The crazy part is that he wasn’t even at that shelter in his hike-he jumped forward with the help of a trail angel 20 miles because the trail angel told him that it’s the best sunrise on trail and that there is a side trail hike in the evening to a 360-degree sunset…and that day was the best all week weather-wise.

Snacks and I were not aware of the sunset hike so again another bonus. We quickly grabbed our headlamps and put our hiking clothes back on and set off to chase the sunset with Chuckwagon.

It was out of this world. The views were killer. A perfect view of Franconia Ridge where we were headed the next day.


I still can’t get over the fact that Chuckwagon wasn’t even at that mile marker in his hike and he jumped up just for that sunset/sunrise and we happened to be there—it was just amazing and it was so so good to see him.

The cherry on top of that insanely amazing day is that it also happened to be my four-year sobriety anniversary! Four years…who would have thunk. Coincidence methinks not. I am so blessed. 💕

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Comments 3

  • Caroline : Oct 21st

    This post brought me to tears… joyful happy tears. So proud of you for so many reasons 💞

    Reply
  • Bigfoot91 : Oct 22nd

    When I see all these beautiful photos and read all these tales from the trail I am reminded that before I thru-hiked the AT in 1991 I wasn’t privy to ANY of it’s kind and that makes me wonder if that weren’t a GOOD thing, as all of those discoveries were ahead of me waiting to reveal themselves in the moment of actually being there. I’ve wondered about this a lot over the years. I don’t know. Maybe I’m making too much out of it.🤷‍♀️

    Reply
  • Justin Kirchdoerfer : Oct 25th

    Congrats on 4 years! That journey is also worth it!

    Reply

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