THE END OF THE HIKE (FOR THIS SEASON)

THE END OF THE HIKE (FOR THIS SEASON)

Matt HealeyMonday,5 August 2013

The Snap:

The hike is now over for this season. Over the past several months I have completed more than 800 miles of the Appalachian Trail. I went from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Dripping Rock, Virginia, at mile maker 843. I also covered 34 miles in Pennsylvania with friends and 11 miles in Connecticut.

The Download:

This has been an excellent way to spend a summer. There have been so many great moments on trail. Trail magic at various points including one that had Cabernet Savingion and spaghetti at Max Patch. Dinner at Cafe Rel in Franklin, North Carolina. The endless views and vistas. Lying in the sun at Icewater Shelter in the Smokies. The ponies at Grayson Highlands. I have meet so many great people. Push-up and 22 who were very great to hike with. Squirrel who walked with me from Gooch Gap to Fontana Dam. Bear Bait who I did not see since his birthday at Fontana Dam. Catnap who provided very down to earth advice on a variety of issues. Slyfox and Moonflower who I was able to run into a few times. Survivor who had the roughest day on hell day (April 4th) and kept going. Mooch, Jumper, Fritz, Butterfly, and Waffles (RIP) who were very entertaining and fun to talk to at shelters. No Name and Homeward Bound who introduced us to the game of peanuts. Gilgamesh whose views on southbounders provided a great light moment on trail (Southbounders make it with a higher percentage than northbouders because they don’t have to carry food since they feed off their hatred of society). The barking spiders (Barter, Yeti, G-Baby, Whisky Girl, Grilled Cheese, and TJ) who were hiking their own hike and having fun with it. Clinker, Turbo, Patrick, Pressure D, Nuke, and more than I can remember. Some will make it through the whole trail. Some, like me, will make it — just not this season; and, some will not make it at all. It is irrelevant how far they make it. They all started for different reasons and they will make it as far as they want to. They are all hiking their own hike.

As for me, I will finish the trail, but just not this season. Real life intruded as I expected it would. I am not upset about this. I have made the right choice for me. With the other hikes I have done, I have finished over 1300 miles and have a bit under 900 to go. The hike has been fun and eye opening. I figured out a lot about myself and have shared some of those insights in previous entries in this blog. I have dropped approximately 30+ lbs and am in much better shape. I saw 4 copper heads, 1 timber rattler, 2 bears, 1 turkey, and more deer than I can count. There will be a few more entries about the trail but I wanted to put this one first, as the hike is over for the season.

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Image Credit: Flickr



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