My name is James - I grew up in Wisconsin, and now I live in Denver, CO working as an engineer. In 2015, I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail as Autodraft.
After months of thought and preparation before and along the trail, the end almost comes as a shock and surprise. Running is not the same as hiking – but it does have some strong parallels. It might just be what some people need while adjusting back to day-to-day life after finishing a thru-hike, as well as those hopeful future thru-hikers out there.
We all have our own personal hardest sections. We battle thoughts of quitting or concede to them for good reasons. I never had anything remotely like the Virginia Blues, and the Pennsylvania rocks hurt my feet but never had me down. If I hiked through it again, Connecticut would be completely enjoyable like any other stretch. It almost was too much for me in 2015.
Swimming became a daily fixture as I got closer to Katahdin. I put a list together of all the Appalachian Trail swimming spots I could think of, and then narrowed it down to my Top 10.
Long-distance hiking costs more than money.