1800 Miles Completed, A Love Note to the Appalachian Trail

8/8/2022

Planning.

1800 miles ago my thoughts were abuzz.

Do I have the right shoes? Did I buy the right clothes? Do I have the right tent, and will my sleeping bag keep me warm enough?

1800 miles ago

1500 miles ago, my mind is playing with me. 

Is my beard thick enough? Is my hair matted enough? Is my pack heavy enough? Have I done enough miles? What is that smell?

Today, I think…

Do I have enough water? Will my food last? Is it the right food? Do I have enough calories? Is my body breaking down? Will my feet carry me for one more mile?  What is that putrid smell?  Do I even care anymore?  What the fuck have I gotten myself in to?

What if I let go and surrendered to the trail?  What if I just laid on the forest floor, basking in the sunlight and soaking in the scents?  Would I get any further?  Would I achieve the goal?

What If I took off my pack, burdened with the weight of the thoughts behind me? Weighted down with how other people see me.

Judgement.

Somewhere in between I hover with the things that keep me from living and the things that keep me alive.

My thoughts are dragging me down. 

My feet feel so heavy.  Like walking on broken glass.  I feel so confused, my direction is unclear.  The path blazed before me, seems so far away.  I question every day, every moment.  Why am I here?

I just want to finish.

Achieve my dream.

Complete the goal.

Cross. The. Finish line.

The blue dot is where we are as of 8/9/10

Walking, scrambling, climbing, clawing.  I thought this was a hike?

Another rock tripped over, taking more of my blood.

I want to laugh at myself but, I’m so damn hungry!

Why is my body abandoning me? 

I shake my head, my thoughts tumbling to the side. 

I take one more sip of the last of my water.

I look at the climb ahead and think, just another day in paradise.

This time I laugh.

One foot in front of the other, my stride more confident than it was 1800 miles ago. 

I CAN achieve this.  I WILL achieve this. 

Just 20-more tomorrows, give or take a zero here or there!

~ For Jake-a-Lope, my husband, and my inspiration

Food Guru

Published by Analiese Kennedy

Ecology and anything outdoors is my Jam! We love exploring new places and connecting with others over a good meal and wine.

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