NEXT STEP: TRAINING

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The nature of the Appalachian Trail

My eyes awoke to darkness, the time: 5:55am. A week ago I would’ve turned over and shut my eyes for another hour, maybe two. But I’m training, and I’m taking this seriously. In 23 days I will begin my hike by traveling north from Springer Mountain. A 2,180-mile footpath sits ahead, as do two other long-distance trails, each roughly 2,700 miles in their unique length. I need to be ready.

With all the planning and pack-up finished on the west coast (well, as much as I could anyway), I’ve continued on to the next step and next adventure.This week I flew back east to Warwick, New York—my hometown for the first nineteen years of my life. I arrived here wednesday evening and I’ve already hiked an accumulated distance of 26.5 miles—a marathon. It might not sound like much, but considering the terrain along the NY/NJ border, and considering I’m trying to find a balance between family and hiking, I’m doing just fine. Just a few days into training and I’m starting to fall into a pleasant groove with things. I feel good.

And although there are a few more pieces to place into the puzzlement of planning for the Calendar Triple Crown, I no longer feel the stress that sat heavy on my shoulders over the last month…or months. Suprisingly, being back on the east coast, with the historic legacy of the Appalachian Trail at arm’s length(literally and figuratively as a number of trailheads lay within a 10-25 minute drive), it has been relaxing. The equation of family+holidays would normally cause me to stand on the brink of insanity,  but I feel comfortable. I think it’s all the hiking, and perhaps more importantly, its BELIEVING in next year’s dream.

Without further ado, I’m going to finish this cup of coffee and toss on my pack. It’s a warm 35-degrees out, and my legs are ready to make miles. My pack weighs approximately 20-22lbs, mostly weighed down by two handy 7-lb cat litter containers. 10 miles sit ahead.

There’s so much more that I’ll be writing in the next few days (utilizing a post – ahead feature available through wordpress). Just a few ideas that have been writing themselves as I walk each day: The advantages of hiking skirts, The “double caterpillar” sleep system, and How to efficiently Remove Trekking Pole Straps.

Off to the trail!

(Also, I’ll be sending most of my posts via my phone now. If the quality of images is poor, let me know and I can adjust the size. These I reduced in size to speed up uploading…)

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