The Rocky Start on the Trail From Katahdin
I can see why Katahdin is one of the hardest parts of the AT. The almost constant uphill, rain, and having to crawl on my hands and knees through rocks definitely made this climb a challenge. Also, rumor has it that this is the most elevation gain throughout the whole trail (correct me if I’m wrong). Am I sore? You betcha! Is it worth it, though? Hell, yeah! As a young lad said to me today, “Only badasses do the trail SOBO.” Starting at Katahdin and making my way down South gave me a quick boost to building my trail legs. Earning my trail legs won’t come easy, but it’s going to be exciting to see the strength process. One day I am pushing to meet the goal of 15 miles and the next it will come easy. After this, we can push it to 20 miles as we get stronger. I am looking at this adventure as a series of day hikes versus one long hike. It may be a challenge, but I know I will come out on top.
Learning experiences to come
Since I am doing this with my boyfriend, it will truly put our relationship to the test. We will be completely exposed and will have to depend on each other. Not to mention that we will be spending four to five months only with each other. We may bicker, but the important thing is we will work things out and come out stronger together as a couple. On another note, I am gaining more self-confidence about my appearance. Either that or I am just not caring anymore, but nonetheless, I feel better. Today, while it’s 40 degrees and raining, my hair was in a messy bun on top of my head and I had boogies running down my nose. On top of this, I had no makeup on, not that I wore much anyway. Anyway, with every passing person I still put a smile on my face and the last thing on my mind is what I look like. To all my fellow lady hikers, embrace your natural beauty because you’ll feel so much better.
We made it, we made it
Clearly I am cold and wet while Dane makes it seem like it’s not misty and chilly. Getting to this point involved hiking, climbing, and some bruises. Yes, there were a few times I slipped, and my knees and butt were beat up. Rocks are slippery in the rain, man. All in all, though, it is well worth this picture. Too bad there wasn’t a better view other than fog, fog, and more fog. With this said, I also experienced a nostalgic moment from my childhood. While I was working my way up the mountain, I used trees to help pull myself up. When I did this, rain fell on my head from the trees. Instead of getting frustrated by getting wet, it made me remember times when my siblings and I would go outside and shake trees. It made me miss home a little bit, but I know they are all rooting for me and know I’ll be home soon enough.
A word of advice
Never under estimate the power of a five-minute break to sit down when your legs are getting exhausted. I tend to try to wait until I get to the top so momentum is not lost, but with today’s battle, I see how taking a few breaks would help. Using all of my body to climb up rocks and then continue walking for another threeish miles was tough. My legs were done! A second piece of advice I have been told by my parents: Take your time. This is not a race and it is better to finish safe than to end up breaking an ankle. Most importantly, enjoy the beautiful trail. I know I certainly will be trying to get as many miles as possible, but not without enjoying it.
I hope everyone enjoys their journey whether on the trail or not. Life is only so long, might as well have fun along the way!
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