The Adventure is Over but the Journey Continues
2198.4 miles, not including side quests to water, campsites, or landmarks.
154 days, 21 hours, 20 minutes.
$4365 raised for Camp Resilient. $1227 raised for Safehouse Ministries.
Life-long goal achieved.
Helping others while helping myself on an adventure that took me past every white blaze from Maine to Georgia.
North Carolina and Georgia
I’ll do a final post with some final thoughts from my entire hike, but here is a summary of my final miles.
The final miles were some of my favorite. I have been walking in some sort of fall colors since September 3rd, before the 1100 mile mark. Max Patch was probably the peak, but once I got past Standing Indian Mountain and into lower elevation in Georgia, the color stated to return.
The water, however, was still scarce. It got cold for a few days, with lows in the 20s, but it stayed dry. The lack of rain made for some good hiking weather, but I had to carefully plan where to get water. Not a big issue since water had been hard to find since Pennsylvania. It was just something to think about. When choosing my campsite for the night, I sometimes needed to carry my water in because the spring near the shelter had gone dry. A small price, in my opinion, to pay for great weather and a dry tent.
One of my favorite surprises about this adventure was being able to catch up with friends and family. I took a Zero with an aunt and uncle out of Fontana. A cousin gave me a warm place to stay and a ride to the grocery store at the Nantahala River. My parents, wife, and children met me at Springer Mountain and finished the last mile with me. The final 180 miles were a special homecoming.
The mountains continued to provide a solid challenge, especially in North Carolina. The views in the 2 southern most states rival the 2 in the north, with much less work. On the decent down Blood Mountain, I was thinking that the mountain was my last climb of my journey. While the reality that the end was close stared me in the face, the more enduring reality is that Blood Mountain will always be there. So will Wayah Bald, Albert Mountain, and Wesser Bald. This adventure is over, but the journey to the mountains never ends.
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