My niece, Adventure Girl, began her journey on the Appalachian Trail on March 5, 2011. Heading north (thereby called a Northbounder), she hopes to reach Mt. Katahdin, ME sometime in August. To get an idea of the terrain and sights she will encounter, check out the video I have included.
Give the video a moment to load. You’ll see a black screen and hear nothing for approximately 30 seconds.
Adventure Girl last updated her trail journal on March 31, 2011, while in Erwin, TN. Having already traveled over 160 miles since the 5th of March, Adventure Girl was enjoying a 0 mile day. Her plan was spend her off-trail time watching a marathon of movies. Who knows, maybe the movie Southbounder was on the play list. (She’s watched that movie many times.)
Since taking off on March 5th, Adventure Girl has encountered more rainy days than dry days. Within her journal she writes of her most recent three days of hiking by saying, “I feel good after my three long days and I am still loving the trail even with its less than ideal weather and the views of nothing, but fog.”
What constitutes long days to Adventure Girl? 20 mile hikes. Adventure Girl traveled 20 miles one day, 21 miles the following day and 26.4 miles on the third day. Her 0 mile day was well earned, don’t you think?
In less than a month, I have witnessed (via her journal) Adventure Girl mature beyond her 18yrs. The journey she is taking is teaching her so many important lessons about life. In fact, this 42 yr old woman envies the lessons she is learning, which have taken me 42yrs to grasp.
On March 19th, Adventure Girl wrote, “The closer I got to the NOC [Nantahala Outdoor Center] the harder it was to envision myself missing out on a burger and bed just a mile away. I knew the rest of the group didn’t really want to spend the money to stay in town, so I was feeling pretty guilty. That was until I ran into Gingersnap who reminded me that I need to hike my own hike. I realized she was right, so when Andy walked up while I was still talking to her I told him what I was thinking and that he could come or not it didn’t matter to me. I was going either way.”
Through Gingersnap and Adventure Girl, I was reminded of one of the simplest lessons in life: we need to hike our own hike. Whether on or off the trail, this is our hike. While we shouldn’t trample over the people we come across along the way, we need to hike our own hike.
Thanks for the reminder, Gingersnap and Adventure Girl. I look forward to learning more from my niece, growing wiser beyond her years. I hope you will come back and check for updates. Maybe you will learn something, too. Here’s to the next update! *clink* Keep on hiking.