When I headed out for my run it was gray outside, a color not uncommon when describing my hometown in the Spring. A glance down the street showed me a distant fog hovering over houses and businesses. I started out feeling the dampness in the air; a reminder of the sticky humidity that summer would bring. My run took me down streets of my past but as the morning sky continued to close in and darken, I remembered what I had been doing the same day, years before.
March 10th marked the four-year anniversary of the day Darwin and I touched our first White Blaze on Springer Mountain in Georgia. An event that still lingers in my mind like it was yesterday. A chilly foggy morning, the kind where you can’t exactly say if you’re wet because of rain or just from the amount of moisture hanging in the air.
During our time on the AT, rain was a constant. I remember how good it felt to peel off my cold wet clothes and trade them out for my dry camp clothes. I also remember how it felt the next morning waking warm in my sleeping bag knowing my day old wet (and sometimes frozen) clothes awaited me. Georgia presented numerous challenges for all of us newbies. We were all excited and nervous but those feelings can only motivate you for so many miles before the weather really starts gnawing at you.
I remember coming down from Blood Mountain, another foggy rainy day preventing us from having any views. We, however, we’re excited to have survived our first few days on the trail and ready to treat ourselves with the first bit of civilization, a bunk bed and shower in the hostel at Mountain Crossings.
Several people left the trail at that point however I remember being still hopeful and excited to hike back into the fog and rain the next day. That excitement would wain as we continued to hike in those conditions for several days. I would find out, later the harsh reality of the saying, “No Rain, No Pain, No Maine”.
Now life post AT, I find I am very tolerant of cold, rainy, or foggy weather. Not exactly my favorite weather, but again it’s tolerable. It doesn’t keep me from doing something…usually. When hiking the AT, the tolerable attitude is a must and a lesson the trail will surely teach any hiker willing to listen.
Of course, this is all easier to say knowing, that when I finished my run I could treat myself with a hot shower, and dress in warm dry clothes, via a warm dry house. Another gift from the AT…an appreciation for the little things in life.
Thank you Appalachian Trail, for all your lessons. It’s four years later, and I haven’t forgotten you or all you taught me.
(Technically, I didn’t touch the 1st Blaze, I leaned on it…)
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My Book: Mini Misadventures
Etsy Store: TravelandTrail
One Of Many AT Journals :