One Who Wanders
Most of us on the Appalachian Trail want to believe we’re not transients, vagabonds and drifters. We’re on a mission. We have a goal. We’re accomplishing a tremendous feat. All of this is true, but does it negate the fact that we wander?
I hiked with Quiet Diet from Fontana Dam to Gorham, New Hampshire. We shared blood, sweat and tears, mud and even more blood. However, he has a job to get to in Alaska and I have a personal vendetta with the Appalachian Trail. Yet again, two travelers find themselves forging ahead on their own.
Fortunately, we had been hiking parallel hikes with an awesome group of people – a man called Hollywood and two young women named Soggy Dirt and Pocket Spider. I feel so lucky to have drifted in with them. Their positive energy and support is really helping me during a surprisingly difficult section – southern Maine! The terrain is tough. I lost my boyfriend. I lost my mp3 player! If it weren’t for these people, I’d be in a much worse head space. Instead, I am making the best of a bummer situation.
I currently find myself in Rangeley, Maine in a lakeside cabin – a very different scenario than if I had rushed to keep up with Quiet Diet. We took kayaks out on the lake yesterday in the rain and then watched a rainbow fade into and out of existence.
I am definitely having a bit of anxiety. We are so close yet so far. We have about 220 miles left – the length of a backpacking trip most people still wouldn’t go on. I am so eager to get to Katahdin and be accessible to my friends and family at home. I am so excited to get started on a career. However, there are still so many miles between here and there, and rushing the hike has proven to be a demotivator.
Will I finish? Won’t I finish? I don’t currently know. I don’t know if that’s the point. It’s the journey that gets you there. Katahdin, I am gunnin’ for ya, but I am going to enjoy the time I have left on the Trail while I can. I am one, just one, who wanders.
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Hang tough. It’s a bit of a ways to go, but the worst is over once you hit the Bigelows.
Good luck and Godspeed.
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