Well, it’s been 2 weeks since I finished the Trail, so I’ve had a chance to process the trip. What a great trip it was! I still have the hiker’s high. Joanne asked me if the trip was what I expected, to which I replied, “I didn’t know what to expect, but I wanted an adventure, and that is what I got.” I wanted to meet people who were not like me. But, you know, I came to realize that anyone who attempts the Trail is looking for an adventure, like I was. Regardless of whether you walk a few days or go all the way to Maine, hiking the Trail makes an impact on you. You learn a lot about yourself on the Trail. You are both by yourself as well in the Trail community at the same time. People are so nice and, although everyone has their own goals, people really come together as a community.
Here are a few final observations:
• After I returned from the trip, I realized that I had lost 7 pounds. After doing some basic calculations, I realized that I had about a 15,000 calorie deficit, so that weight loss makes sense.
• I expended almost 7,000,000 ft-lbs of energy.
• I climbed about 32,000 feet. Thar’s about the cruising altitude of a jet. The next time I take a flight and reach cruising altitude in 30 mins, I realize it took me 11 days to hike that distance!
Well, I plan continuing this adventure next year, as I plan on starting at NOC and hiking through the Great Smokey Mountains to Davenport Gap – about 100 miles.
Until then, I’ll be refining my pack weight and getting in a lot more practice hikes.
I hope that you have found this blog interesting. My 11 days on the trail were certainly a transformational experience for me.