What’s the Rush? I’m Hiking at My Own Pace
There has been something happening to me since the Smokies, and I think it’s time that I finally write about it. I didn’t really want to share this continuous experience since… well, because it’s negative.
In my eyes I want to believe that the AT is filled with nothing but magic; magical landscapes, magical moments, magical people. But news flash; the trail is like the rest of the world, and has its bad sides just like everything else.
It has the beautiful mountain peaks, and miles of scratchy weeds.
It has morning sunrises on McAfee Knob, and cold nights filled with thunderstorms.
It has people who restore your faith in humanity, and people who will judge your hike immediately after one. little. question.
“When did you start?”
I started hiking the Appalachian Trail on Feb. 26, 2018, and for some reason people seem to find that very amusing.
I have had people raise eyebrows, gasp in disbelief, and legit laugh in my face when I tell them I started in February.
At first I didn’t understand why, but then it would all make sense when I ask these surprised people the same question and they respond with:
I am so sad that people are judging my hiking pace. I realize that these other hikers are laughing at me because they have covered the same amount of miles as me in a shorter amount of time.
I think the thing that makes me the most upset is that I know if I wanted to finish the trail in four months, then I could. I could hike 20 miles every day, and only take one zero a month. I could put my head down and get miles out like nobody’s business if I needed to, but that is not the way I wanted to experience the AT.
I finally understand the phrase “Hike your own hike” after feeling judged by some of the fellow hikers on the trail.
I am taking my time because that was the biggest piece of advice I got from past thru-hikers before I hit the trail.
“Take your time.”
“It goes by to fast.”
And that is what I am doing. Enjoying the trail, to me, is taking my time and hiking 900 miles in more than three months.
Hike your own hike everyone, and support everyone you meet. At the end of the day we are all in this together.
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