October 10, 2014

Hikers are Back in Tennessee!

The East Tennessee tribe is home! We got off trail in Virginia at McAfee Knob with plans to complete the remaining section of the Appalachian Trail later in the Spring. Dad’s medicine was freezing and it was just too dang cold to get up in the mornings. So for now I will consider 1, 400+ miles on the AT an impressive achievement!

I must say, the decision was bittersweet. The trail has been my greatest joy, teacher and adventure.

I sat down to write a post about our 4 month journey and how it feels to be off the trail. Although, I still can’t put into words what it's like to travel over a thousand miles on foot with everything you need to survive on your back. Plus, what it’s like hiking with family!

All I can say is that I am changed. In many ways, I am changed. I no longer look at the sky the same or the mountains the same. I even look at people differently. I feel connected to earth and long to wake up with the sun. I believe in living sustainable more than ever now. The earth is precious and we need to take care of her.  My dreams and passions seem to burn more. Life is too short to be unhappy.  It really is true how people say that life experiences can shape and mold you.

Adjusting back to “normal life" gives me a bit of anxiety. It’s strange to imagine life without camp chores, sore ankles or counting miles. I know I will miss the A.T., especially the simplicity of trail life, but I am so excited to start a new adventure.

The Appalachian Trail will always have a piece of my heart. Thanks to everyone who made this trip great. I am forever grateful. I hope that our trip has inspired many others to branch out and take outdoor adventures!

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