The Long Walk

… I see an unexpected benefit of thru-hiking. It is an escape from me. It is a forced simplification of my life; being on the trail limits the opportunities for me to pull myself in multiple directions.” David “AWOL” Miller

Random notes about The Long Walk that starts at Katahdin in Maine and ends at my lovely home in Landaff, NH and is a section of the southbound Appalachian Trail (AT SOBO) thru hike. Should this adventure become a reality I will walk ~410 miles over 30-40 days.

I have many doubts about whether The Long Walk will actually happen. There are my own personal doubts: can I really walk all day in the rain and mud then wake up to do the same the next day? And the next? Can I tolerate sleeping in areas with groups of people, some smoking, some listening to music, some talking very loudly or partying into the night; areas overrun by mice and other vermin? Can I tolerate stealth camping – sleeping utterly alone in the woods? I tried this once and learned how primal we humans are when it comes to feeling safe after dark – I was irrationally terrified my first night and didn’t sleep; the second too tired not to sleep but it was a restless night (I was woken up by two very loud homo sapiens). Do I really want to sleep on the ground when comfort and luxury at home is so much easier? Then there’s my husband who is less than thrilled with my plan and has health issues that could have an impact on The Long Walk.

I spend my downtime reading blogs and other online information about walking in the woods over a long period of time. Maybe The Long Walk is just a fantasy; an escape.

Yesterday, May 17, The Long Walk became a tiny bit closer to reality because I made and paid for a reservation at the Katahdin Stream campground in Baxter State Park. I will reserve 2 nights at the AT Lodge in Millinocket. These guys provide an amazing service as they shuttle hikers to the lodge from the Medway, ME bus terminal and provide the shuttle to the Katahdin Stream campground, the start of the SOBO adventure for many, all for a very reasonable price – breakfast included. It’s my understanding that advice and wisdom from Ole Man and NaviGator, the owners, is free.

at-walk

This ice cream indulgence at the AT Lodge Cafe is more appropriate for northbound (NOBO) thru hikers who have finished the entire AT from Georgia and have likely lost a lot of weight:

Ice Cream Sundae at AT Lodge

Hiker Dessert at the AT Lodge

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