In the last post I said I was going to publish again in Damascus. Well, almost 2 weeks later I finally have enough time and connection to sit and write for awhile. Sorry for the delay. ; )
After leaving Damascus on May 13 we hiked on for quite awhile, covering many miles in a few days. Our goal was to reach Pearisburg before driving up to NY. Plans changed though, and the 7 of us loaded into a 5 person car and drove back to Damascus for Trail Days. While at Trail Days we had the opportunity to repair gear, recouperate physically, and pick up a few more sponsors. All in all, Trail Days was a bunch of fun and a great place to say “Hey” to some trail friends. Than we got a bigger rental and drove up to Syracuse and here we are.
So, now that you know where we are, I’d like to touch on how this trip is affecting me mentally. During my time at camps and shelters I’ve been able to talk to many adults about what they hiking for. The most common answer is, “I’m trying to find out what I want to do next.” The following conversations show that almost no one knows the answer to that question. It’s made me consider the same thing. What do I want to do? How do I want to live my life? These conversations also have taught me that there is no time like the present. I refuse to be in my mid thirties and still be wondering where my life is going to go. I promise myself to work and fight to follow my heart and do what I love to do. As my new friend Neil told me, “Be true to yourself and don’t waste time.” So, that’s what I aim to do and ask all of you, the readers to do the same. Procrastination is my biggest enemy and I ask you to join me in my fight against him.
That’s what I have for now. Thanks for reading and Happy Trails!
What to say first? It’s been so long since my last blog post, I don’t know where to start. My last one was at Hot Springs, and many things have happened since then. We’ve stayed at Miss Janet’s house, white-water rafted, taken a few unexpected zeros, played music, sang songs, hiked, met David from Doe River Hiker Rest, finished North Carolina, reached 400 miles, and Ava had a birthday celebration.
But that doesn’t cover half of the crazy stuff that’s gone on during the past few weeks. There have been very in depth conversations about our goals on the trail and the different ways of completing it. These conversations have sparked thoughts of what I really want from this trip. Not the physical side of completing the trip, but the mental and emotional parts. When I’m at Katadin do I want to say, “Wow, I just hiked 2000 miles.” or do I want to say, “Wow, I’m so much closer to my family than I was and I’m mentally prepared for what’s next, whatever that is.”
So, what’s my most memorable experience? I’d have to say white water rafting with Mr. Jamie. I’ve rafted twice now, the first time when I was maybe 9. I hardly remember it but from what I do, the two experiences were very different. For some examples, this time I had a paddle and last time I didn’t go swimming. The paddling part was cool enough, but being tossed around in class four rapids and being spinned around 360 degrees under water (Quick side note: I nearly got the name “Maytag” from that. I thought that was funny.) is quite more exciting.
That’s about it for now. The real packs are back on from almost 2 weeks of slack packing and we’ll be in Damascus by Friday. I’m planning on putting out another post then. Happy trails!
“Not for the sake of fame nor glory, but for the sake of my soul, Hikers hike.” -Catch Up (Laughing Heart Hostel)
I went to church yesterday . We watched the Francis Chan video where he discribes eternity with a rope. The man conducting the service ended it with the point that we should spend our time loving others, not ourselves. That we should live our lives unafraid of the bumps and bruises if life.
That’s what I want to do. I want to separate the love of my Savior from the hypocrisy and pain of the average American church. I want to love and live like those who live by love. I want to feed those who are hungry, give water to the thirsty, give shelter to those without shelter, and love those who know no love.
I’ve been thinking about myself lately. Who I am and who I want to be. The problems within me that I hide like buried treasure. But this treasure holds no value. I don’t need it and I don’t want it. And yet, I bring it back to myself like a yoyo I try throwing away, but yank it back at the last moment. Maybe by the end of this trip I will have burnt the string.
Anyways, we will be leaving Hot Springs. This town is like a vortex that keeps everyone in for days at a time. I’m happy to be moving again. After a couple of days you begin to feel stagnant. It’s always nice to get the blood moving again.
On a completely random note: Dad just farted in Zoey’s face. Happy trails.
Please make up your mind. If your going to be cold, be cold. If your going to be hot, be hot. If you were wondering, I’d prefer hot. Just putting it out there.
Don’t get me wrong, the snow you drop is beautiful. Even when it blows sideways into your face and coats the side of my dog’s body. But there is another thing that coats the ground that I enjoy more. The wild flowers you place on the side of the trail take my breath away. Every way I look there are blankets of white, pink, blue, yellow, and purple petals.
I have to thank you for your sunsets. They are the most beautiful things on the trail. Even when I’m having a bad day, I’m always rewarded with a sunset. When I walk 17 miles through crazy terrain, there’s a sunset to greet me at the end.
So, thanks Spring. I’ve really enjoyed you. Please be nice to me for the next month and a half. I’ll miss you when summer comes.
“Before the deed comes the thought. Before the achievement comes the dream. Every mountain we climb we first climb in our minds.” -Royal Robins
Today is March twenty-seventh. I’ve been in Georgia for two weeks. I’ve been outside in the sun, the rain, the hail, and the snow. I’ve been living the dream.
Our family had been dreaming of this trip for an entire year. It started out as a “Oh, that would be cool” thing and it quickly turned into watching documentaries, following other people’s blogs, and looking at gear. We hadn’t decided that we were going to attempt a through hike, but we were hooked on the idea. Then the backpacks were bought, clothes were ordered, and the Thru Crew was going to take on the trail.
But… I had my doubts. There was something about packing up and leaving that didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t want to pack up and leave my home again. I’ve done it time and time again, but this was different. I have real friends and family in New Hampshire, ones that weren’t going to move away in two years. It was me who was leaving… for 6 months. I didn’t like it.
The more I thought about it the more my perspective changed. The thought of the adventure and the freedom was amazing. The many people I’d meet on the way and amount of the U.S. I’d be able to see up close and personal made me rethink the way I perceived the trail. It wasn’t leaving home for 6 months, I was finding a new one every night.
So that’s my dream. I get to be with my family and friends I make on the way. I get to share a fire with people of all shapes and sizes. I get to know what the phrase “Home is where your heart is” really means. I hope I never wake up.
Dedicated to whatever he sets his heart toward, Kole is an anchor in the family. He loves animals and will serve as the voice of Belle, the Four-legged Hiker. His interests include: skiing, climbing, music, and animals.