Out of the thousands of hikers that attempt to thru-hike the Appalachian trail, only one out of four make the hike to the end. Well my friends, come Thursday morning, July 28th, my niece – Adventure Girl – will be one of the four.
On March 4th, I wrote my first post about Adventure Girl’s journey. I was writing a letter to and for Adventure Girl, wishing her luck as she began her journey. I had no intention of writing about her journey on a weekly basis. However, my readers – you guys – requested updates. You guys connected with Adventure Girl, and you wanted to live vicariously through her journey (from the comfort of your couch).
On April 2nd, I wrote my first official Trail Tale. 16 posts and 4 month later, I am sad to see this journey end. I’ve had such fun experiencing the trail through Adventure Girl’s eyes, without the blisters, aches and pains. Still, every journey comes to an end, and Adventure Girl is nearing the end of her own journey. Please enjoy an update she posted July 19th:
“Hello from Monson!
I can’t believe this trip is almost over! I will be done in about a week, after all this time I can actually see the end. I can envision the finish and that is awesome! For a larger portion of the trip it was always “if” I make it to the end, but at this point it has become “when”. That is such a good feeling. I have gotten to the point where I don’t enjoy the fact that I have to hike X number of miles each day, I think it is mostly because hiking those miles puts me that much closer to the end. I am still having so much fun and I am still meeting and hiking with new people. Getting to know these people is such an awesome experience, as is living the trail life style. I’m not sure I’m ready to head back to “real life” with all the responsibilities and day to day worries that fill it.
Living on the trail you only have to worry about caring for yourself and taking care of your own personal needs. You don’t have to worry about your decisions impacting the lives of other, because everyone out here has their own plan and their own agenda. That is fantastic. It is great when your doing what you want and enjoying yourself and you are hanging out with people that are doing the same. Everyone is just so much more relaxed and open minded out here and I have grown to love it. The kindness that I have been shown is mind boggling.
Just the other day I stopped for the night at The Northern Outdoor Center in Caratunk, and a group of self proclaimed “mass-holes” (the name really didn’t fit… haha) provided Cologne and myself with the most amazing trail magic. They invited us to their cabin for a cook-out. They grill steak, burgers and chicken with corn and potatoes. It was the best meal I had, had in a long time. They even provided us with breakfast in the morning. They were still asleep when we came back in the morning, but they left and note and the door unlocked telling us to make whatever we wanted. It was just wonderful. Hiking when you have a full belly of good, REAL, food is just so much easier. You feel so much better and your mood is lifted. It was a great night, one of the best on the trail.
Its great that even this far into the trip I am still having “bests” and “favorites”. I remember thinking in Hot Springs Oh my gosh I still have so far to go… I don’t know if I can actually do this, but it turns out I can, and am. Crazy what we can do when we set our mind to it. There were definitely days where I didn’t want to hike and didn’t enjoy it, basically all of New York for example, but I hiked anyways and I am so glad I did. If I were giving the A.T. a review bottom line I would definitely recommend it to a friend.
Well today is my last zero and its a beautiful day, so I am going to go enjoy it. Here’s to hoping for a gorgeous day on Katahdin! “
Adventure Girl will meet her Dad on Wednesday July 27th to climb Mt. Katahdin. As I wrote in a previous post, Adventure Girl’s Dad climbed the first mountain with her, and he wants to climb the last one with her. Thursday morning, Adventure Girl’s Dad will return home for work, and Adventure Girl will ride with her Mom to the Shore – Amherst Shore, Nova Scotia. I am certain the Welcome Wagon will be waiting for her when she arrives. How I wish I could be there for the celebration.
I’ll share the final days of her journey with you, as soon as I can. And, to my family and friends at the Shore, I beg you – please take pictures of Adventure Girl’s arrival. I’d love to share the celebration with my readers.