“Well This Is It” – Last Thoughts Before The 100 Mile Wilderness

Well This is it. It’s always a nervous feeling leaving that last point of civilization before going into the bush. There is no turning back now. No “Oh shit I forgot something, turn around!” I can’t forget anything. It has to be right the first time. It’s not even the first time in my life doing something like this yet my gut still churns leaving that last spot. I guess this is partly why a SOBO (southbound) hike is more challenging. Once I’m out there, I have to walk 100 miles before I can resupply.

I’m feeling all kinds of feelings. Anxiety, excitement, fear, emancipation from the artificial bounds of a “normal life”. This is the point of transition from the comforts of family, friends and even social media to a life on the Appalachian Trail. It’s a relatively niche culture in this world where people just walk from point A to B just for the sake of walking. This is it for me for ther next 6 months.

So here I am in my brothers truck on the last stretch of road from Millinocket to Baxter State Park in Maine. What a good brother Travis is. He left his home in Southern Ontario for a 2 day drive just to drop me off at the AT trail head. First we camp, cook hot dogs, drink many beers, talk about family, friends, space, and epic Carl Sagan quotes about the cosmos. Then we sleep. Then he drives home.

My brother Travis and I before heading into Baxter State Park. This might be the first selfie he's ever been in.

My brother Travis and I before heading into Baxter State Park. This might be the first selfie he’s ever been in.

I have not packed lightly. Everyone’s blogging and bragging about their ultra-light backpacks and here I am with a full 85 litre pack with a banjo bungeed to it. I will take it slow. I have food for 10 days, 12 if I ration. So a 10 mile/day average is pretty chill I think.

All my stuff. I could probably use a lesson on light weight packing

All my stuff. I could probably use a lesson on light weight packing

My mind is filled with uncetainties. Do I have enough food? Too much? Will I be alone? With Company? Is my pack too heavy? Will that slight pain in my bulging ankle get better or worse? Will the rain piss on me for days? Fawwk!!! I DON’T KNOW!!!

I have experience with being alone in the wilderness but I can’t deny these feelings of anxiety about my uncertain future.

“Well this is it”, a prominent expression in my life this past week. Originating from my late grandma from Cape Breton and its rubbed off on my brother and many of my hometown friends. It’s applied to sum up everything in life from stating the obvious to bitching about the ridiculous of our world and the people living in it. You can just follow up with exclaiming “well this is it!” It’s now on my mind in this very situation as I prepare to take my first steps onto the 2189 mile Appalachian Trail. I don’t know if that makes sense but what really does? That is all for now.

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