Long Trail, I Am Humbled
I started my long trail thru-hike a couple of days ago and things did not start out the way I had planned. For starters, I didn’t hit the trail until 1 pm on day one, AKA super late. On top of that, my water bladder broke just as I was about to head to the trail. I then proceeded to pop both of my water filtration reservoirs and my SPOT device quit on me.
The Long Trail
Twenty-five-mile days were NBD during my training hikes. Heck, I had a 32-mile day on the AT and still averaged over three miles per hour. Then I started the Long Trail at the Canadian border and holy crap, was that a rude awakening. The AT in the DMV area (DC, Maryland, Virginia) just does not compare to the terrain on the Long Trail. My cardiovascular system may be prepared, but my legs are a different story. Eighteen miles absolutely cooked me. I fell a lot my first couple of days and lost the trail more than a few times. But there has also been so much beauty and, of course, lessons that only the trail can teach.
Today I finally felt my body and mind find their rhythm with the trail. I started seeing little things I never noticed before. When I lost the trail I found myself looking for small disturbances; a fresh drag mark, footstep, or holes from a trekking pole. It’s a glorious feeling to be so in tune with the trail. I also realized (again) that I need to let go. Making plans and setting goals are great practices! But sometimes things change and it’s necessary to be able to flex.
More than once I had to remind myself why I got on trail in the first place and what it would mean if I quit. I was also brought back to gratitude. My mom is with me on this journey (a recent development) and she slack-packed me today to help me make up some miles. Having her support has been invaluable as is this time I am able to spend with her. I’ve also had support from home in ways that are both mentally and literally a godsend.
So, Long Trail, it’s only been a few days but I am humbled in your presence. Thank you for helping me see what’s important and reminding me to relax, let go, and enjoy the ride. I am greatly looking forward to the rest of our journey together! Happy trails, my friend.
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