It’s been about a week and a half since I summited Mt Katahdin, and exactly a week that I’ve been home in Fremont. I feel like I need to write this one last post so I can officially be done with the trail.
I stayed in Boston in this furnished studio apartment at The Copley House.
I decided to take Amtrak from Boston to Omaha for something different. I had a one hour layover in Albany New York and met our daughter Megan and our son in law Alex and had supper with them. Megan packed me a plethora of food to consume on the train. With the exception of the train being behind schedule most of the way, the Amtrak experience was good.
I got into Omaha about midnight on Wednesday. Amy picked me up and we drove to Fremont. At home she had goulash and no bake chocolate cookies. Two of my favorite things. Of course I ate before I went to bed.
Since I have been home I’ve been to the store multiple times catching up with my coworkers. Even though I’m retired they will always be my coworkers and friends. I’ve washed and cleaned all my hiking gear and put it away. I told my hiking friends I couldn’t wait to get home and cut the grass, grill some steaks and drink some beer. I got all that done.
I am very happy I hiked the AT. I’m also very happy I’m done hiking the AT. I missed my family. I missed home. I missed birthdays, holidays, plays, our daughter Sarah getting her RN degree and much more.
But, it was, at the same time such a positive experience. I met a lot of great people. I saw so much beauty everyday. I was challenged in many ways.
Through-hiking the AT was much harder than I thought it was going to be. I thought I was a pretty tough guy, physically and mentally. The AT brought me to my knees. I’m still in disbelief that I made it. I can see why there’s a 75% drop out rate.
I hated the mud and the mosquitoes. I didn’t like all the gnarly roots. There were many times I was cussing the rocks. And the rain. It seemed like I was hiking in the rain more than I wasn’t.
There were many times I felt like I was over my head and definitely out of my comfort zone on the technical rock climbing. I hiked in every weather condition possible.
I am proud that I finished and I have a great deal of admiration for anyone else that finishes. I enjoyed hiking alone with my own thoughts. I also enjoyed hiking with other people. I liked the social aspect of camping around other people.
I took more than five million steps, ate 400 Natures Valley protein bars, 300 Clif bars, 300 Snickers bars, 500 peanut butter and honey tortilla wraps and 100 dehydrated meals. I went through 4 pairs of shoes and 4 pairs of socks.
I am amazed at how much wilderness there still is on the east coast. I will also be quick to correct anyone that scoffs at the Appalachian Mountains and doesn’t consider them real mountains. The hike requires 465,000 feet of elevation gain, the equivalent of climbing Mt Everest 16 times.
I have a new appreciation for some of the simple things in life. Being dry. Eating whenever you want. Sleeping on my bed. Showering whenever you want. Not having to walk or hitch a ride wherever you want to go. A toilet. Family. Amy.
Many people ask me about my plans now. My answer has been “I’m doing whatever Amy wants for at least a month.” I’m just looking forward to spending time with family.
I’m not planning anymore long adventures. I didn’t like being away from home that long. I will go on some vacations with our son Ryan. I anticipate we will do some weeklong biking and hiking trips.
I also want to spend more time visiting my parents. My dad is responsible for my love of physical activity and my love of the outdoors. I didn’t think about it much when I was growing up, but I was outdoors constantly with dad hiking, biking, running, ice skating and fishing. I thought about my dad everyday on the trail.
Amy gets to pick a trip anywhere she wants to go. I don’t know what that is. She’s hinted about an Alaskan cruise. Whatever it is will be fun. She deserves some attention.