December 1, 2017
It’s been exactly one month since we finished our thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Jay and I spent 2,190 miles living mostly in a tent, spending each day watching the scenery pass by at walking pace, challenging our bodies with continuous exercise. The transition to a more ‘sophisticated’ lifestyle has been interesting. Though I enjoy daily showers, my skin has rebelled against the increased use of soap. I can’t deny delighting in a warm bed, but I miss waking to the sunrise breaking across a ridge top. I find that I have totally forgotten how to cook. Our first morning home, I burned the eggs! However, seeing family and friends is the best part of being back in civilization, and I have enjoyed every moment of those visits.
Many people asked me why we did this long hike. After eight months, I can only conclude that curiosity was what kept me going. I was curious as to how my body would react to such a long trek. And I was curious to see new places, new faces, new sights each day. The path of the AT brings incredible variety to the traveler!
So, what is next? Jay and I will enjoy sheltering through the winter. We plan to pare down our belongings considerably. After living for eight months with just the contents of the packs on our backs, a houseful of stuff is overkill. I will be re-designing this blog, making it easier (I hope) to navigate. And next spring, we will don hiking gear and set out again, ready to enjoy this incredibly wonderful earth we inhabit.
8 thoughts on “Afterword”
My wife Nancy and I (and dog Petey) met you at Pine Furnace State Park just after you completed the first half of your hike. Since then, I’ve so enjoyed following your blog. Congrats on an amazing accomplishment. Cheers, Ned Wolff
Dear Ned and Nancy (and Petey),
It’s lovely to hear from you again! Jay and I so enjoyed chatting with y’all while we gorged on hiker burgers and fries that day! We spoke of the two of you often in the days following our meeting. I’m delighted that you got to read our blog. I do hope we can stay in touch. And perhaps you will enjoy reading our further adventures next spring!
Your nostalgic friend,
Congratulations on your finished hike. I am proud of you for having the determination (and strength) to do it. It is quite an achievement, especially given all the travail you went through. I am very proud to be able to say “ I personally know two people who have hiked the AP – and lived to tell about it!”.
Dear Uncle John,
Thank you so much for your good wishes! It meant a lot to me that you were reading my blog all this time. Thank you!
Thanks so much for sharing your journey with the rest of us. I have truly enjoyed following along on your journey since meeting you at the Big Meadoes Wayside while waiting on my wife to pick me up. Congratulations on accomplishing something that very few people are able to do.
Thank you for letting us know how much you enjoyed reading our blog. Jay and I remember that day at Big Meadows Wayside! It was a lot of fun to talk with you that day. Maybe you will enjoy reading our further adventures next spring.
Sarah and Jay
Sarah & Jay, not only was your trek a testimony to strength and courage, your photos and postings are fantastic! Thanks for the vicarious venture! It was especially great to meet you in real life at Shannondale and to see your slide show in person. Thank you for taking the extra time and effort to share this adventure with us….leaving open the door for the next trip.
I truly enjoyed meeting you also! Your enthusiasm for our trip was a great booster to me as I tried not to be nervous while giving the presentation! Looking forward to seeing you again the next time we come east!