Friday, August 16, 2013

Oops....I'm doing it again!

As someone who has spent the past 12 years traipsing up and down the Appalachian Trail, I have to admit that I've gotten a little jealous this Summer when I see thru-hikers finishing their hikes.  I'm not jealous in a mean spirited way because I am genuinely happy for each hiker who finishes their hike; my jealousy is derived from the look in their eyes.  

The sense of accomplishment in their eyes is something that has been making me sad lately; not sad for them, but sad for me because I truly miss that feeling of joy right after I finish a thru-hike!  I miss feeling like I can do anything, go anywhere, and accomplish any task.  That's not to say that I don't derive satisfaction from building new trail and maintaining my section of the AT, because I do.  However, that type of happiness is fleeting, and if I'm being totally honest with myself....I need more! 

I need more because there are only a hand full of things that I do well, and thru-hiking the AT is one of them!  When I got off the trail in 2011 and bought that Albatross of a house, I told myself that my thru-hiking days were over, and I should just concentrate on giving back to the Appalachian Trail.  Indeed, working on the AT, and helping to preserve it for the future has in fact been very gratifying; however, after spending this Summer building trail, helping hikers, and living on the trail here in Maine, there is no question that I need to thru-hike again!

Therefore, on 1 September, I will be stepping off on a Fall/Winter southbound thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail! This particular hike won't be ego driven, or a drunken response to my advancing years, or even because I just like eating ramen noodles every's because I need it to be truly happy again!  We all have to face up to what we are sometimes, and I'm a I'm doing it again!  

So, I'm gonna go to town today, have a nice lunch, drink some Millinocket Martinis; and then tomorrow, I will start to work on getting that look back in my eyes.

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