[Reflecting on the first scary moments of our thru-hike]
“Were you ever scared?”
The most frightening moments on the trail happened before we set foot on AT dirt. One was months before we left home, and it occurred in the safety of our own kitchen and in our warm 4-walled house. It didn’t require a lot of physical effort to click “Book Flight” on the computer, but by doing so I committed myself to what somewhere in the back of my head I knew to be a huge physical and psychological commitment. I never actually pulled that acknowledgement to the front of my mind at any point because it seemed too daunting a thing to face directly.
So at that point when I booked my one-way flight from Georgia to Maine, with full intentions of walking back to where I came from, it was with a sense of detachment and ungrounded nervous energy. My email flight itinerary was proof that I had instigated an adventure.
And I can’t get my money back so you’ll find me in seat 7A.
It was bizarre to arrive somewhere with just a back pack.
All you have is literally all you have.
Often times I think these were the most important moments of the trip: booking the flight, actually showing up for the flight, and then arriving on Maine soil. In a lot of ways, these are the moments that called for the most courage. They were our last few precious moments when it was still possible to back out. Go home. Put this craziness behind us.
With so much time and effort and money invested in our preparation, there was no going back.
More than that, I had just shaved my head. There was no way I was coming back like that.
At that point there’s nothing left to do but get a ride from Millinocket and start climbing.
4.1 miles and about 4,000 feet up Mount Katahdin
And it’s all downhill from there, right?
Or something like that.