I did something I never thought I’d do yesterday.
Something I never even wanted to do.
Something that I wouldn’t have even had in my imagination of all the things I wanted to do in my lifetime….
Kaleidoscope and I started hiking at midnight, we hiked for 19 hours, crossed the borders of four states and completed 44 miles of the AT!
It seems just by following one dream other new dreams arise…
…new dreams that take you well beyond anything you previously had the capacity to imagine…
… accompanied by a deep confidence or even a solid inner knowing and true excitement that the new dream is totally attainable!
And I know this is living life fully!
feeling excitement, following inspiration, expanding/growing, satisfaction … And when in that flow life IS (and tasks ARE) easy 😉!
I know now we could have done it either way just the length of time would have changed, but we did end up slackpacking (having our packs driven to us at the end) this section so we could enjoy it more and reduce the stress on our bodies. We couldn’t have done it without our trail angel Kate Wellington!
She was instrumental in us attempting this… Without her we wouldn’t have had the support we needed. She met us just after midnight in WV to take our packs and loaned us the Camelback and gave us a bag of chocolate chip cookies to fuel the early morning! Then she picked us up in PA and dropped us off at a hotel so we could recover comfortably! Thanks Kiki! 😁🙏
Only in the darkness did we have any stories worth telling and only small ones. The first was crossing the river. The better was under repair, so for the second time on this trip we broke the law to continue forward. With no workers our people at 2AM we could easily sneak on to the bridge and cross but we weren’t sure about the train! We heard it came ever 12 minutes and that you just had to time it correctly. Cambyr started to freak herself out and her fast walk turned into a run! We cleared the tracks right at the tunnel entrance and I have to admit even my heart was pumping pretty fast by then! It took us a while to get to the trail because the stairs to it are in a center island accessible prior to the end of the bridge. We hiked a total of two miles extra out of our way (totalling 46 miles for the day!) just to make sure we got to the trail head instead of walking along a road. Once on the trail we were enjoying the beautiful balmy quiet morning, so pleased with ourselves. Then out of the darkness we hear a huge splash…hard to describe but like a massive weight being air dropped into water. It was so mysterious…and creepy. While we were listing the possibilities (frog? jumping fish? turtle? alligator?) we heard it again (dead body?!) yikes and freaked ourselves out jogging a bit. But then we just focused on the sky full of stars and enjoyed the next hour of flat easy walking with the sound of the Potomac river rushing all around us.
Then as we crossed back over into our first Hill climb and swiping spiderwebs as we went, Cambyr noticed something glowing in the woods and felt spooked. I looked where she looked and saw it too! Two beady glowing eyes that popped out of the darkness fixed on us. It didn’t seem big but not small either. Maybe a fox or deer possibly a bear. We had no way of knowing for sure but whatever it was it was there for quite a while watching but not threatening. Was nice to know we didn’t feel worried. Was nice to know that creature didn’t feel worried either.
The next 25 miles I have to admit were literally a lovely flat walk in the park. Maryland at the beginning was just like a flat city park with tons of people….the most we have yet to encounter on this hike. A mix of masked and unmasked but everyone cautious of their distance from each other.
We had breakfast # 2 at the second shelter and saw a gang we call “the sorries” for our own funny reasons. That was our longest break for the day at 20 min or so and then only time I added moleskin to hot spots. with my new injinii finger socks I did great the rest of the day! We had so much fun and great conversation till the 28 mile marker…after that time got slow and I think we hit a wall of sorts. but we’ve been to that place before and just kept moving forward…anitcha …things will eventually change…a saying I learned at a vioassana meditation retreat a few years back. Cambyr knows it all too well now. So we just wait it out….and it always changes.
i have to admit the last four miles of the hike was pure hell. We both had some words and maybe even tears at that point. we were sick of the rocks and ready to stop moving. I had gone back and forth for hours trying to pinpoint the right description for how my feet really felt….was it a burning or pins and needles…raw or merely rough. When I’d decide on a description it suddenly wouldn’t match the feeling accurately enough. They just ached and hurt yet it wasn’t unbearable.
a few miles away Cambyr and I just started singing…or making sounds. It helped immensely…sounded like she alien choir in the woods…but the release from inside to out soothed us both immensely…and we caught our fourth wind and cried years of joy knowing we had this! It was a huge relief when we finally saw Kate and felt so good to sit down in anticipation of a long comfortable sleep in a hotel!