Friday, September 24, 2010

This Is It

Dear Appalachian Trail,

These past four months have been something else, huh? One minute I was working at a church, and the next I was on a train to find you in West Virginia. I am impulsive, and I didn't really know what I was flinging myself into. But I got lucky! And now my rose-tinted infatuation has grown into honest love and commitment. I'm crazy about you in the most sane, respectful way.

I adore your mossy mountains and turtle-filled lakes. I sing your storms and morning glory. Your fellow travelers have restored my faith in human generosity and karma and hope, and it's all because of you. My mom said I get "lovey eyes" whenever I talk about you, and I know it's true. I think of the fire towers and sleeping bags and bonfires...

Thank you for the chance to love so expansively. It hurt, all that stretching of my heart and self, but I am grateful for it. Now though, I have to continue on. The winter is on its way, and college loans are piling up. I don't make many promises, but I will be back.

With Love,

To all my advocates, friends, and family-
Thanks for following my hike.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The White Mountains

Excuse this post, I am only checking in.

I am alive.
My knees are scraped up.
I have successfully navigated 80 mph winds ontop treacherous ridgelines.
I am chronically tired.
I've slept on floors and tables and benches.
I've washed dishes, swept floors, and told stories in exchange for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
I've danced on euphoric mountain tops.
I only want to be here right now. But, when I finish, I will be ready to sit in a kitchen until I'm 90.
I am learning so much my head whirls to think about it.
Yes, I am ALIVE!

Also, I just completed Mahoousuc Notch. The Thru-Hiker's Companion describes the Notch:
"Famous for ice found in deep crevices throughout the year. Many find this scramble under, around, and between the boulders the most difficult mile on the Trail."
For three hours, I inched my way through the craziest mile of the A.T. I've never rock climbed before, but I met several hard-core climbers who drove hours out to the Notch for a weekend excursion. Yes. Mahoosuc Notch? Check. Completed.