We’ve become animals and have moved into a bear den with the still semi-hibernating beasts. It’s been a week, and we’re starting to smell like one of them. But really, it’s been two weeks so we’re still new to the thru, but at least have a bit under our belt. We’ve made it as far as what looks like one inch on the map of the whole trail, so that’s comforting. Here are the first week of thoughts:
1) This is wild. We’re doing it.
There’s been so much planning up to this point, and all of a sudden the moment is here. You worry you’ll fail or you’re not up to the challenge.
2) How am I this out of shape? I did squats.
Those first set of stairs on the Approach Trail of the AT whipped me like no other. I was embarrassed as I stopped to catch my breath. But also my stomach hurt for the first two days until I threw up on the second night, so I can partially blame that. But in reality, I felt like someone who has stayed on my couch for the last five years.
3) This is gorgeous, let me stay forever.
Not much else to say aside from how the views are breathtaking. Each step you take shows you a new form of beauty.
4) Help. My body is dying.
You can’t sit down without the fear of standing up. It takes 5 hours to stand up, and when you finally do, you hobble like you’ve broken two ankles. It’s a great look.
5) I smell like an animal.
The other day, Kyle was changing in his tent and the wind wafted his trail musk over to my tent. Not the best way to wake up in the morning. It’s not obvious to you because you become nose blind, but you sure realize you smell when a townie at the bar sits next to you, takes a sniff and moves to the other end of the bar.
6) Ok. I can handle this.
Amidst all this, you’re meeting people at shelters, seeing beautiful views and finding your zen. It’s a wild ride that is almost indescribable.