My Lists for the Long Trail 2022
Let me introduce myself!
My name is Taylor King, and I am currently a veterinary student and work as a summer student in meat inspection (which is how I got my trail name – Slaughterhouse!).
I love to learn! I have taken a variety of courses outside of my career path. For example, I am an Apprentice Interpreter and have taken courses through CanFitPro! Eventually, I would like to be a certified hiking guide. This is more of a personal goal than a career goal at this point, though!
How I Got Into Thru-Hiking
It’s always been very clear to me that I enjoy my time exploring the outdoors. As a kid, we would go camping and spend time on the trails hiking and biking. I was always left wanting to go a bit further than anyone else was willing to go. That never really went away…
What did change was that I stopped waiting for someone else to want the same things I did. I decided that I would be scared out of my mind and alone for the first little while, and eventually, I would just adapt. Thankfully, it all worked out and that leap has allowed me to go on adventures I never would have been able to if I waited for some company.
I realized I wanted to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in the summer of 2018, and one year later I set out on a life-changing journey. It was truly the most wonderful combination of experiences I have ever had, and it’s almost impossible to convey to friends and family back home.
About a month ago, I committed to hiking the Long Trail. But, why? “My lists”, which are found below, are intended to provide mental fuel for tough days on trail. I never wrote them out when I thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), but success on one long-distance trail does not guarantee the same outcome on another! I’m happy to try something new!
So here goes.
I am thru-hiking the Long Trail because….
- I love hiking!
- I thru-hiked in the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in 2019, and miss it… a lot.
- I had intended to complete a Triple Crown by 2021, but the U.S./Canada border closed… and I was on the wrong side of it
- I am in veterinary school, so I cannot hike for 5 months (got tuition to pay + classes that start mid-August). A “shorter” trail like the Long Trail seemed like a good fit!
- A member of my trail family from the PCT invited me to join him, and who am I to say no to a thru-hike? (Plus, I was already looking up trails within the 200-300 mile range, let’s be honest!)
When I successfully complete the Long Trail I will…
- Be thrilled!
- Start school a couple of days later
- Probably go see a doctor. I am doing EVERYTHING possible to keep my foot in good condition, but I do have metatarsalgia (which is, in simple terms, an overuse injury of the foot).
If I give up on the Long Trail I will….
- Undoubtedly have a very good reason (like preventing long-term nerve damage or going to the hospital after falling off a ledge)
- Know that I did everything I could
- Be frustrated, but a bit of the trail is better than none at all. Either way, I’m pretty lucky to be out there 🙂
While walking across the United States sounds a lot more daunting than walking across Vermont, there are a lot of similarities. Going for a long walk requires good gear, the strength of will, and resilience, regardless of whether it’s 200 miles or 2000 miles.
That being said, I know the Long Trail will be very different from the Pacific Crest Trail. First, they are on opposite sides of the country. They also have very different terrain and weather patterns! I’ve heard a lot about the roots, rocks, and rain on the Appalachian Trail, which joins the Long Trail for 100 miles, so I’m guessing it should be pretty similar.
Excited to start training, and get my body ready for this adventure!
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