Rainbows and Butterflies or Blisters and Bears?
Hello friends!! My name is “Froggy” and welcome to my first blog entry! This time next year I will be in the midst of my Flip Flop Thru Hike of the Appalachian Trail. It’s kinda hard to believe, especially since I am writing this from the comfort of my air conditioned home, drinking water I don’t have to filter and a bathroom with a flushing toilet. Next year I’m trading my comfy foam queen sized mattress for a slim, still comfy air mattress. I’m trading Dr. Martens for trail runners, contacts for glasses, air conditioning for cool mountain breezes. I’m trading spending every day with my wonderful husband and two elderly Chihuahuas to….well…. I’m not sure yet! I have a romantic notion of what trail life will be, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, stunning views, exceptional people, lots of wildlife, too much junk food.
And though I know those wonderful things will happen, I have to be realistic too. I fancy living the simple nomadic lifestyle, but need to be tough mentally to accept that the trail is going to kick my butt. My inner dreamer hippie chick wants to deny the trail will be anything but rainbows and butterflies, but the reality is, this is a brutal way to spend six months. There’s going to be rain, bears, insane elevation changes, ticks, bears, heat and humidity, bears, mud, spiders, pointy rocks that want to rip your feet off, and did I mention bears?! Also rattlesnakes. And bears. But in addition to that there will be vistas, sunshine, chipmunks, breezes, birds, waterfalls, frogs, trail friends, happiness. And Ramen. Lots, and lots of Ramen.
I know I’ll have to get through the bad sucky stuff for the awesome unforgettable stuff. It’s just another tradeoff, and I think I’m coming to terms with that. If my practice hiking/camping trips have done anything it’s knock me down off my dreamy rainbow and firmly on my achy feet. Which is a good thing. I am learning a lot about myself and my gear every time I go out, so once April comes I will be ready. Mentally and physically. In September I have an ten day section hike planned to really dial everything in. I’ll let you know how it goes. I will also go over my gear and other fun training sessions in future blogs. Until then, hike on and “hoppy” trails!
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