We stepped off officially from Amacolola Falls on March 12th, today, around thirty days later, I’ve been given a chance to contemplate what this first month has taught me.

    I decided a while ago not to hold any expectations, about this trip or anything else. It might be unhealthy, but I view expectations as a weakness, easily exploited by “Murphy’s Law”, which states any time you make a plan or have an expectation, it is very likely the exact opposite will occur. All that to say, I came out here with a completely open mind.

    Physically, I was completely prepared. In the months leading up to our step off date, I began working out regularly, with the intention of being able to carry 50 pounds every day for 8-14 miles a day. Luckily, I overprepared, and I haven’t had to carry anything that heavy, but I was prepared for the worst case scenario. However, I learned quickly within the first week that I have a lack of patience. My younger siblings were not in the same physical shape I was, they were gaining their strength (as was I for the record) on the trail itself. What resulted was a slower pace then I desired, and it frustrated me. The trail highlighted a problem I didn’t know I had. I’ve learned and am learning the true meaning behind “far not fast”. You travel at the slowest persons pace, and eventually, everyone gets faster. If we were all moving at the pace I would have liked in those first few days, it is likely one of us would have developed stress fractures in our feet, or some other injury. 

    I also have learned about problems I want to avoid. It’s funny, mountains have personalities. The mountains we’ve been climbing happen to suffer from multiple personalities, they are extremely treacherous. On one day, we had 70 degree weather with clear skies, within the next two, we were hiking through shin deep snow drifts. Rain can come out of thin air, followed by cold, a deadly combination. That’s the exact person I don’t want to be like. 

    And then I learned about what I do want to be like. I wrote earlier about the fires that ravaged this area last year, and I am working every day to be the type of person that isn’t broken by that heat, and is able to come back and grow. 

    So there is a few of my thoughts from month one, I know I will have many more to come. Here’s to month two! Happy trails. 

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