Thru-Hiking the AT: A modern day Odyssey.
A Leap of Faith
When I began my AT journey nearly two months ago I thought I knew what to expect, but in retrospect, I didn’t have a clue. I started the approach trail on March third in rain, fog, and high winds. Clinging to the railings as I inched my way higher and higher into the unknown. I just had to have faith that it would all work out and that the staircase wouldn’t pull away from the side of the mountain and send me crashing down with it.
I Made It, Well Not Quite
The setting was perfect for a modern day odyssey. Everything seemed somehow larger than life. I heard trees creek and snap as I scrambled over boulders and slid down rutted ravines called a trail. As I reached Springer Mountain the rain and tornado warnings had ended. “I made it!” I let the thought swirl briefly through my mind, but that was just the approach trail. Each day on this trail has given me a new start with new obstacles to overcome. Reality, like the many false summits, keeps me humble.
An Epic Adventure
Pictures and posts really can not convey the experience. Everyday I glimpse soaring vistas and flowering forests, while the trail in Georgia and North Carolina actually glitters from mica, but in my child’s mind I see fairy dust. I both love and hate the word “gap”, while associated with trail magic, gaps also mark the start of another grueling ascent. The ascents are brutal and often followed by joint hammering descents designed with giants in mind.
Humbled and Grateful
Several hiker’s journeys end prematurely due to injury, some much younger and healthier than myself. I have fallen or nearly fallen too many times to count and blew my knee out on day four. I struggle with my pack weight, my calories, fear of heights, fear of injury, and fear of failure, but I am still here and for that I am grateful.
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