Unfinished Business: A Return to The Long Trail
It is almost a year since the start of my Long Trail journey. Last July, I drove up 95 North to start a trail that would change me and my life in unimaginable ways. This July I will return to the beautiful Green Mountains to finish what I started. I completed another 54-mile section in September 2020, and in a couple of weeks I will wrap up my last 109 miles.
A lot has changed since my first trip to the LT. Then, I was grieving, running away, and trying to heal. My life was upside down and I didn’t know who I was or what my future looked like. The trail kicked my ass and I wrestled with a lot of emotions making the decision to get off. It was all or nothing, go hard or go home, success or failure. Last year I could only see a foot in front of me, and only in black and white.
My second trip to the LT was markedly different than my first. I was on trail for completely different reasons and the shift in my experience couldn’t have been more obvious. That time, I wasn’t alone and the trail held the mystique of excitement and adventure. I wasn’t out there trying to prove anything (to myself or to anyone else). That hike was about fun and connection and being with the person you love.
So what’s in store for my last hurrah?
Fast forward to summer 2021 and I am so pumped to get back on trail! So what’s changed? To put it simply, I have. If 2020 was a year of turbulence and growth, then 2021 is the year of hitting my stride. And damn, does it feel amazing! Today I hike because I love it. The trail isn’t an escape anymore, it’s my happy place. The miles don’t define me, they bring me joy. And it’s not about the grande finale, it’s about the journey. And this time, I get to finish that journey with my favorite person.
The Long Trail gave me exactly what I needed each and every time I ventured to her footpath. When I sought escape, she beat me up and snapped me out of it. When I visited her full of hope and excitement, she forged passion and connection. I don’t know exactly what’s in store for me this time, but I do know that it will be perfect. I am thrilled to continue this journey and I look forward to sharing more with you along the way. Happy trails, my friend.
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