The trail is a physical strain and a mental game. In the past three weeks more than 7 people I know have left the trail. The heat is increasing, the miles are getting longer and the people are getting fewer. Each time someone leaves it makes you question your own intentions.
The past couple days on trail have been the most difficult for many reasons; the terrain although different is no “easier” despite the chant given by prior thru hikers that “Virginia is flat and easy”, the heat and humidity has been off the charts, and my hiking group has dispersed. Now all of these have simple solutions, or so it may seem from the outside.
But trail time is different, as is the perspective of hiking day in and day out as miles pass beneath your soles. The truth about Virginia is not that it’s any easier but your strength as a hiker has increased. Hike around the heat and humidity, start early, siesta and hike into the night, but that only works if you don’t have an unfounded fear of the dark. Find a new group and redesign your “trail family”, and then hike into the night with someone you just met.
With so many thoughts coursing through my mind I felt it pertinent to share some of the wonders of my trail time. Every day is not always filled with smiles, I have cried more times than I know, both from physical pain and the mental games of the trail. Despite those moments I find extreme joy and happiness in the world and people surrounding me.
And after two fails of uploading pictures I believe you’ll have to enjoy only a glimpse of my journey for today.