It’s been almost a month since I finished the Appalachian Trail. Easing back into the “other world” has been good. No jarring experiences that people always ask about.
I was only home for about a week before I was off again though, this time to a conference in Portland. Now that I’m back from that amazing experience I have time to write this final post about the trail. Read more
Before I settle into a routine of some sort, I’m in Portland attending the World Domination Summit. A few thousand cool people like me coming together from all over the world to have fun, grow and see how they can enrich their lives even more.
From buying my ticket home two months ago, to finishing the trail ahead of schedule and overall everything working out just fine to get here in time for the conference, it shows I’m confident in my ability to plan and execute, adjusting along the way if need be.
I still need to do a more detailed write up about the trail, but not for another week or so, once I’m back home, not traveling.
I’m not sure why the trail goes through some areas/states. I’ve been putting in the miles recently and some of the “trail” is downright terrible. Rock fields with no specific way to get through besides tiptoeing all day. I’m not joking.
Pennsylvania in particular. It’s brutal on the feet and not fun. I expect some sort of defined trail to walk on. I didn’t get that. Other hikers I talk to agree.
There are other areas that you are literally rock climbing, pulling yourself up, boulder by boulder. Remember, that’s with a pack full of stuff. At one point there is an aluminum ladder that’s wired to a rock wall that you climb up to get to more rocks.
I thought this was a hiking trail. It probably was fun for many thru-hikers and day hikers, but I wasn’t thrilled with it.
So far the Pacific Crest Trail, which I did in 2012, blows the Appalachian Trail out of the water. Trail conditions and views.
I’m still having a blast on this adventure, but it’s a different trail. That’s for sure.
On the trail there are a few types of families. At least in my opinion.
There’s the actual family, the ones related to the hiker. They hike a few days with them to experience a little of the trail, meet up to share a zero together or provide support from home. They just get a taste of your adventure, but hopefully have a better understanding.
Then there is the trail family. These are people that you see constantly. Either hiking with them, moving and camping as a group, leap frogging them on the trail or seeing them around town. Everyone who hikes the trail come from all walks of life and locations. They hike for all different reasons, but when you’re on the trail, bonds are formed quickly. Some people you just connect with and it’s like a reunion when you see someone you know just show up when you least expect it. Or finally meet the person matching the name you’ve been seeing in trail logs for weeks.
The third family is the trail angel family. People who love the trail and contribute in many different ways. Maintenance of trail and shelters, trail magic, even office volunteering. They do a lot of the background work to provide a trail everyone can use.
I just wanted to share some of my thoughts on family.
900 miles in! It’s crazy to think that in under two months I would have made this many miles. Mid 20 miles is the norm, my legs are strong and endurance is good. A few 7:30 and 8pm arrival times to camp, also getting close to a 30 mile day a few times. There is still plenty of daylight so that’s not an issue.
No bears still and I’m in the Shanandoahs, where there are supposed to be bears everywhere!
*Update* Saw two cubs way up in a tree. Didn’t see momma bear and didn’t stay long to find out where she was.
Weather has been a little of everything lately. Cold, rain, wind and some nice warm sunny days too, though not enough of them in my opinion. There was even a 5 minute thunder-hail storm that I got caught in before the skies cleared the sun was shining and I dried out before getting to the shelter.
There has been a lot of little things happened that you might like to hear about. So here they are.
I got a couple of snack bars from one guy as I was coming down a mountain and a banana from another guy when I arrived at the bottom.
There was a shelter full of ladies and myself, playing card games as the rain was falling until 10 at night.
Someone wanted a picture of myself and two other hikers like we were some sort of zoo animals while eating at the big meadows wayside.
I’ve called a few days early, like 4pm, stopping at a closer shelter because of weather or just not up to hiking however far to the next one. Reading and looking at upcoming trail is a good way to spend that extra time.