Matt HealeyThursday,9 May 2013

The Snap:

I have my trail legs. This is not surprising after a month on trail. What this means is that I can now take what would be a normal day hiking — an 8 to 10 mile day — and get it done before 2 PM. This means that my days are now 13+ mile days. This is a lot for a weekend or section hiker.

The Download:

Like many of the thru hikers I have met, I have friends that want to jump on the trail with me for some section of the hike. Most of them want to do sections north of the sections I am now hiking. As a result, I suspect I will be in even better shape by the time they jump on the trail. The issue is that there will be a difference in hiking speed and endurance. There are only two solutions to this problem — either I slow down or decide not to have my friends join me. I am going to eagerly select the former.

I would rather have the company on the trail. The people who are going to join me are good friends. Some of whom I have hiked with for years and some who have never hiked. Regardless, this trip is about having some fun and I think it will be more fun to hike with my friends than to kill some miles. Some of the other thru hikers have selected the other approach. They are hiking their own hike. For them, the miles and the goal are the more important. I understand this as the trail is a difficult task and for some getting it done in one season is critical. I already know that is not possible as I am not going to re-hike the sections I have already hiked. So I want to go slower and enjoy it more. Thus I am taking more breaks and will gladly slow down when my friends want to jump on trail with me.

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Image Credit: Flickr

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