So here we are in our 5th week of our Appalachian Trail hike. It’s weird in a way that we have been out here for a month already. Time passes in a strange way when you are long distance hiking and what happened at the beginning of a 12 hour hiking day can feel like it was a week ago while things that happened early on in our hike feel very recent…weird. Anyway, the first month overall has flown by. We have learned to work effectively as a team and we are all getting stronger and stronger. Our legs are like solid brick…well almost! I am constantly amazed by the human bodies ability to heal and rejuvenate overnight. We often go to bed feeling totally decrepit and I think, there’s no way I will be able to hike tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes and we all spring out of our sleeping bags and hit the trail with renewed vigor and feet that feel almost normal again.
My personal struggles have been mostly with my feet which is pretty typical out here on the trail. Although, after talking to other hikers and seeing their feet and others who are posting pictures on Facebook…I really can’t complain at all! Once I got new shoes my foot problems started healing and then when we met up with our trail runners in Hot Springs I felt like I was walking in slippers…well…almost! I know foot problems often continue throughout a long distance hike but hopefully we will continue in the minors and not get into the majors in the foot problem category.
So far on our hike we have had almost every kind of weather. Overall, though, it’s been way warmer and sunnier than I expected. Due to the fact that there are still no leaves on the trees we are often walking in the sun all day long. We are all browned nicely especially on our right side due to our northern trek. I have never had a tan this good even in my younger days when I actually spent time working on such things!
We have met a huge array of people…all ages, all walks of life and in all physical states. It’s fun to know we all have the same goal and you can feel close to people quickly. It’s fun to show up in a town that you’ve never been before where you don’t know anyone and suddenly be surrounded by your hiker friends. Most days we see people we know out on the trail too and it’s fun to trade stories of trail magic, snorers in the shelters, and other such hiker fodder.
Besides how much I love sharing this adventure with my husband and my daughter, my favorite part of hiking so far is probably watching spring come to the mountains. We walk through brown wintry landscape then turn a corner and walk into a green world of wild flowers and spring smells. I look forward to seeing more spring as we keep heading north.
Read the rest of their journal entries here.