Sunday October 22, 2017
I have been home for a week and a half now, and it has been an easy adjustment for me to go from living in the woods for 6 months to being back in civilization. I haven’t had any trouble with depression or adjusting to seeing a lot of people or hearing a lot of noise. I also didn’t have any trouble when I started the trail either, going from civilization to living in the woods. It was all so exciting to me. Plus I started the trail with a woman, CHOCOHOLIC, who taught me all about how to eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
I thought I would share some things that I learned while on the trail.
- 2200 miles is a long ways and the feet get really sore! This was a big issue for me. I didn’t have any problems with blisters during my hike it was just the amount of time that I spent on my feet that really took a toll.
- I didn’t like making decisions all by myself. Therefore I prefered to hike with someone else. I think I only was alone for a few weeks on the trail the rest of the time with someone.
- Flying first class is awesome! When I left Maine and flipped back down south, Jim bought me a first class plane ticket. Can you imagine going from living in the woods the past three and a half months to flying first class. I sat in first class smelling like a hiker and wearing the dirtiest sneakers imaginable! I also learned how to ride a metro in downtown DC. You have to get on the right color metro headed in the right direction! Who knew?!?!
- The people on the trail were awesome! It was a thru hiking community that all supported and looked out for each other. There were couple of exceptions–like for a few weekenders who like to make campfires and stay up late or if it was pouring rain they turned to their 1.75 liter bottle of alcohol. What hiker carries a 1.75 liter bottle of alcohol?!?! A weekender of course!!!
- Cashews are a fruit not a nut! There is some much time to think while you are on trail and after walking over thousands of acorns (which is like walking on marbles in case you were wondering) and hundreds of walnuts I began to wonder what a cashew looks like in its shell. This I had to google and found out that a cashew tree products the cashew seed and the cashew apple.
- I thought the trail life would be so simple…but I actually had less down time on the trail than I did at home. If I wasn’t walking 10-12 hours a day I was preparing meals, setting up or taking down camp and routinely filtering water. I also wrote my daily blog on my phone which took forever! Whenever I took a day off it was consumed with doing laundry, cleaning and repairing gear, and planning ahead for my next town stop. I had to figure how many days it would take me to get to the next town and how much food I want Jim to send me. Now that I am back home I have so much down time I find that I am bored and long for “that a day long workout”. I’ve been home less that two weeks and I am already ready to go hiking again. Unfortunately there is nothing close to me here in Florida.
- I hated hiking in the rain. Especially if I wasn’t headed into town and I would either have to camp out or stay in a shelter. Things just didn’t dry out in the woods overnight.
- I learned how to hike in 40 mph winds while hiking over Mount Washington in the whites. I would walk hunched over using my trekking poles to push myself back up if I felt like I was being pushed over by gusts of wind.
- My adventure died about 3-4 months in and became a death march. At the end I was just making the miles and not enjoying my time in the woods. My time was running out before I had to be back to work.
- I was good about stretching in the beginning of my trip, but soon after it started to decline and soon became non existent. When I got home from my trip I started to have some lower back pain and realized how tight my gluts were. I started stretching again and the lower back pain disappeared.
- I learned how to sleep in!!! At home I was always up at 5 am to get a workout in before I had to go to work. When I was hiking the northern half of the trail it was getting light before 5 am so it was great. When I flipped back down south the days were getting shorter and I was no longer so far east, it wasn’t getting light until after 6 am and when I finish the trail it wasn’t light until 7 am. HOOTIE didn’t like to hike in the dark so I learned to sleep in.