By Theresa on Jul 31, 2016 12:32 pm
Aaron and I are currently sitting on a Greyhound bus that is traveling from Bangor, Maine to Portland, Maine. We have been in a state of confusion for the past few days as we think about what we are doing. We have been fighting our egos for about a month. We wanted to finish a thru hike just to say we did it, but that just doesn’t seem like the right answer anymore.
When we decided to flip flop our hike and go up to Maine, we didn’t realize just how much of an impact it would be on us. We saw a handful of hikers finishing the trail, but they seemed to be missing something. The something that they seemed to be missing, is the something that we found early in our hike.
Everyone has a reason for hiking the trail, but for the most part, deep down they are similar reasons. Aaron and I were both looking for a greater meaning for life and a closer relationship with God. Four months on the trail has given us a great sense of who we are and what we want to do with our lives.
Not finishing the full 2,189.1 miles is not a failure. If anything, it is letting go of some of our ego. We both know we can finish the trail and trudge through it for another three months. The physical and mental aspects are both very hard but we are capable of continuing if we have to. The question though is why? Why would we turn such an amazing trip into something that we hate doing? Do we really want to be miserable everyday? The Appalachian Trail will always be there, and because of that, we can always go there and hike sections of it whenever we want.
I love my experiences on the Appalachian Trail. I love meeting like minded individuals and discussing hiker humor, pain, and hunger. Failing to finish a thru hike is not a failure. Never taking a chance is the real failure. There are people on the trail that hike for a week and learn more about themselves than some of those that finish the trail. If I could sum up this entire trail into one phrase it would be: hike your own hike.
I will continue posting on here with further adventures. Just because one adventure has ended, doesn’t mean a million more won’t begin!