Well That Was Fast – 40 Miles on the Long Trail
I set out last Sunday, excited and scared to start my first thru-hike. The approach trail seemed to stretch on forever, but every passing person shared my excitement for getting to Vermont.
By the end of the first day, I’d covered 14 miles and a rollercoaster of emotions. I took a wrong turn and ended up walking through a dozen unnecessary mud puddles. As my pack and five days of food weighed down on me, it started to set in that this terrain was going to be tough to cover with gear as heavy as mine.
So I started seeing my trek as a section hike. I could make it to my first resupply, and hop off trail. I was embarrassed to already be giving up, but the more thru-hikers I met, the less it mattered to me how many miles I was going. I was amazed at how much I got to experience the community aspect of the trail despite only being out there a few days.
It’s that community spirit that makes me certain I’ll go back to chip off some more of the trail. Piece-by-piece, with a lighter backpack and better shoes.
After only a couple of days, I could feel my shoes clearly weren’t working for me. By day three, my ankles were stiff and my arches were aching and I was hobbling with a lot of help from my trekking poles.
On the morning of day four, we left camp and hobbled for a mile before I checked Guthook. With a big climb only a couple of miles ahead and another night in the 40s in the forecast. I decided to call my family. It wasn’t worth risking hurting myself and feeling Chloe shiver through another night to make it those last 15 miles.
As we wound through the back roads of Vermont, I didn’t feel defeated. I’m so proud of my accomplishments and the friends I made. The car ride home gave me plenty of time to figure out what I can do better the next time I hit the trail. My new sock liners are already in my day pack, ready to be tested on my next hike.
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