Reflections on a Plane
At this point I’m a few thousand feet in the and realizing that this hike will consume a significant portion of my life. Six months is no joke and there’s a lot of living you can do within that time. Is this the way that I want to spend it? Will it be everything I’ve imagined it will be?
My first experience with the trail was when my Dad took me to the Appalachian approach trail at Amicalola Falls. We were standing near the gate and I remember he said, “maybe one day we’ll hike this together.” I was just a kid and for all I know he could’ve been talking about hiking JUST the approach (a quick 8 miles). But as a kid with the world in front of me and little idea of how far 2,000 miles really is, I took what he said as a challenge to one day hike the whole thing.
Now with the power of youth, time and some extra scratch from college, I’ve found my way to the start of the trail with the intention of hiking all the way to Maine.
What’s the alternative? I suppose I could jump start a career but then a job becomes a promotion and a lease becomes a mortgage. If I don’t do this now, I don’t think I ever will. Hell, I’d be lucky to squeeze just another few solid years out of my left knee before it goes.
Even now I’m not all that nervous. I just spent two months in Southeast Asia having far less belongings, far less money, no knowledge of the language and the list goes on. At least people on this adventure can all communicate with me in a common language and aren’t trying to rip me off. In a sense I think this could be slightly less taxing mentally than Southeast Asia. Physically though, it may just kill me. At least I have a good friend to send me off, a family that supports me at home and hundreds of people hiking the trail right along with me. Only 1 in 4 of those hundreds will summit Katahdin in Maine and I intend to be one of them.
We’re just about to touch down and it just hit me. I’m walking to fucking Maine. What have I gotten myself into?
Listening to: My girls by Animal Collective