The A.T. Taught Me to Live…But It’s Not Over

10270560_10154103560210117_3642584681091494696_nAlthough I had never set foot on the Appalachian Trail before we left for our hike, I had read probably about 15 books and watched a few documentaries about it too so I had a little bit of an idea of what to expect. Even so, there were many things that surprised me about the trail.

I had a pretty strong feeling that I was going to like the trail, but it’s hard to really know until you get out there. It’s kind of a bizarre thing to do- wake up every, pack up all your stuff, and walk north. And then do it all again the next day and the day after, for six months. I wasn’t sure if it was something that would lose it’s magic and become more of a chore than anything. I knew I was probably stubborn enough to finish the trail whether I liked it or not, but I was surprised when I took to the trail like a duck to water. For someone who had never had a great love of camping and who had only backpacked one day in my life, I had no idea I would fall in love with the entire thing. I really never got sick of any of our “chores” like filtering water and setting up and taking down camp. They just became the new normal of my life, but I never grew bored of them.

I also was kind of surprised that I never once thought of quitting. I think it’s fairly normal for a thru hiker at some point in the hike to have thoughts of wanting to go home but that never happened for me. There were difficult days and certainly days when I didn’t really feel like hiking but never once did I wish I was somewhere else. I loved the lifestyle of the trail- sleeping in a different place every night, always moving forward, never spending too much time in one place, sleeping and waking with the sun, seeing the stars every night.

10268575_10154016312475117_3351302742704982048_nI also wasn’t expecting the trail to change me as much as it did. I thought it would be something that I accomplished and then moved on from. But the lessons I learned on the trail have changed the way I think of life and has made me a better person. I have more confidence and I care more genuinely about people. I’m not sure when my next adventure will be but I can’t wait to find out! There is a possibility of a Pacific Crest Trail thru hike in my future- stay tuned for more details!

4 thoughts on “The A.T. Taught Me to Live…But It’s Not Over

  • December 12, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    It’s truly amazing to hear that you never once thought of leaving the Trail. Not just in Virginia or Pennsylvania, but over much of the Trail, most thru-hikers think somewhat often of the option. You would have been an amazing fellow hiker to have been around I think…

    • December 15, 2014 at 8:39 PM

      Thank you TicTac, I appreciate that!

  • December 13, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    All the cool kids are hiking the PCT in 2015. Just sayin’! ;^)

    I appreciate reading the words of someone else who seems to love the trail as much as I do. Best wishes in all your future adventures!

    • December 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM

      Same to you Kristin! And who knows, maybe I’ll see you out on the PCT 🙂


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