Tramily: An Ode to Snacks
I met Snacks 8 miles in on day #2.
I’d stopped mid-morning at Hawk Mountain Shelter in Georgia to make a cup of coffee and was chatting to a ridge-runner when up walked Snacks. Little did we know in that moment that we would become the bestest of hiking partners.
I love the third picture of us so much for just that reason. It was taken during the first week of the hike and when I look at it I can feel all the emotions I felt when that picture was taken. We were trail babies in that photo. Green to thru-hiking, excited with anticipation, and full of nerves.
It’s hard for me to put into words just how much of an amazing team we make, but I’ll try. We could set up/break down camp together without speaking a word. We knew when to give each other space or a hug. We could speak to each other in the presence of others without peeping a sound.
There were three hikes, really: Snacks’ hike, my hike, and then there was our hike. Before I left for the trek, and as I prepared, I got wrapped up in the ‘ultralight/ultrafast’ mentality to thru-hiking. There is so much hype it’s easy to do, but when I met Snacks, that changed—for the better, in my opinion. I’d been limiting my miles at first as many do to avoid overuse injury. A few weeks in, I told Snacks it was time to turn up the pace, and he said to me, ‘Last one to Katahdin wins, Zipsss.’ And that was it.
A switch flipped in my brain, and in that moment, I made a decision to slow down. Someone recently pointed out that I was taking my ‘normie’ life mentality with me. Faster, stronger, quickly-quickly, tick the box and move on to the next adventure.
We already were late starters, stepping on trail May 1st, months behind the early Spring ‘bubble’ of hikers. Slowing down ultimately created a most unconventional thru-hike: NOBO then SOBO then NOBO again. A flip-flop-flip.
I wouldn’t change a thing.
In sharing the adventure, I gained a new best friend. I am so grateful to have Snacks to share all the countless memories of the past seven months.
Love ya Snack-a-doodle.
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