Sweet Monkey Heads Back to Vermont!

With a month off from work, a car full of snacks, and the Vermont Long Trail to conquer, my hiking partner and I set off from Indianapolis, IN, on the 18th en route to adventure.

Preparing to Thru-Hike Again

My physical preparation for the Long Trail was almost identical to my 2017 AT SOBO preparation. I completed a few short hikes through southern Indiana, went to the gym and hot yoga a few times, and decided that would probably be good enough (it most certainly won’t).

Mentally I have been struggling more with living off the trail than the idea of being back out there. Post-trail depression hit very hard during the year following my AT thru-hike in 2017. When discussing post-trail depression, I reference how I felt when I quit smoking. Not being on the trail elicited a physical response similar to nicotine withdrawal, which feels like the panic that sets in when one chokes or can’t breathe. This trail withdrawal lasted for a year and is just now manageable two years post-thru.

Planning this thru-hike was a coping mechanism to fight the post-trail depression symptoms. Since 2017, I excitedly prepared for the mileage, the pain, the views, and the adventure. The Vermont section of the Appalachian Trail was one of my favorite sections, so I am excited to get back to those white blazes.

Thru-Hiking Virgin

I have the pleasure of bringing a new hiker with me during this Long Trail thru-hike. Michele has been interested in long-distance hiking since I first talked about my SOBO thru last year. A sailing trip in Bora Bora and surviving three weeks in the jungles of Borneo cement her badass cred and more than qualify her to get lost with me in Vermont for a month. She is looking forward to finding a trail name and completing 270 miles of muddy and rugged Vermont trail.

Ready… Set… Go!

The alarm chirped at 5:40 this morning, and we are headed north on I-87 to the Northern Terminus just west of North Troy, VT. We will be headed south this afternoon and look forward to sharing the adventure with everyone!

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