Reflections on the 1st 2 weeks

Trail-wise, I have walked exactly 99.5 miles on the AT so far. 0.9 in West Virginia, 41 in Maryland, and 57.6 in Pennsylvania. Since this doesn’t include distances to and from shelters, I have walked at least 100 miles in 12 days. Time to stop and reflect.

  • Walking miles in the rain won’t kill you.
  • However, you will get cold quickly if you stop walking.
  • Forests always smell better after a rain.
  • Water is the #1 crucial need, followed by shelter at night. Then food. Without water, legs cramp up too much to walk. Hobbling may be doable.
  • Bruises and scratches are to be expected. Say “Ouch” and walk on.
  • No shelter should have the water source .3 miles away down a steep, rocky hill. That’s just cruel!
  • There is a reason PA has the nickname “Rocksylvania”.
  • When you absolutely KNOW you can’t go a single step further, don’t. Sit on a log or a rock and rest for ten minutes. Then get up and go miles further.
  • AT hikers are just fun to be around!
  • Carefully watch your step on the trail, particularly in the rocks.
  • But every now and then, lift your eyes, pause, and take on the beauty around you. Snap a pic, even if only mentally.
  • If there is a side trail to a view, take it.
  • It is much harder to pass the Neanderthal test in the morning, and make fire, when your hands are cold.
  • Two words: dental hygiene
  • Lastly… Just shoulder your pack, get out there and do it!
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