Right now, I'm still up in Rangeley, Maine with Scatters. Boss flew back to Atlanta on Sunday (and went back to work on Monday!!?!), and Rorshach arrived here yesterday. It's nice to have a few trail folks around still, to ease out of AT life. I don't think I'll realize that my AT journey is over until I am back in DC, and there aren't any thru hikers around. Then it should sink in, right?
Hanging out in Rangeley has been great. Just what a post-thru-hiker needs. A lot of sitting on the couch and eating. Showers and laundry are available at all times. And there are cars to drive places. It's very luxurious. The past few days, we have woken up to rain. Nothing better than waking up INSIDE when it's raining!!
So, what's next for me? I'm not sure. I've got a few distractions to keep me occupied for another few weeks. I'll be driving down to and working at the Laxtoberfest lacrosse tournament with my old lacrosse team in Annapolis this weekend, and then I have a family get-together at my parents' house in Ocean City, Md. Then it'll be my THIRTIETH birthday in DC on October 15th, and then it's basically Thanksgiving and Christmas... I suppose I'll need to hunt for a job somewhere in there. I'm not too worried. I'm confident I'll find something I enjoy, and it will probably be in another city. In a few weeks, I can see myself getting pretty excited about working again. For now, I'm fine to rest and recuperate.
I hope my body starts shaping up soon. Scatters (who finished a week before I did) and I are still very sore and tight and tender-footed. My knees really don't like to switch between standing and sitting - especially if they've been doing one of those things for more than ten minutes. My feet are very tender to walk on, mostly in the mornings, but rubbing them doesn't seem to help. My left ankle is still a little swollen, but I think it's getting better. Scatters and I even went for a 4-mile walk yesterday to loosen things up. It hurt at first, and we were slow, but it was nice to move around a bit. The scrapes, bumps and bruises on my legs and arms are slowly fading, and my skin is starting to clear up. It's nice to have soap around. I've started stretching two times a day, but I'm not sure it's been helping too much yet. I'll keep it up. I'm slowly adding fresh fruit and veggies back into my daily diet. It feels healthy and right. I'll keep that up, too.
So, am I glad I did this trek? Oh yes. Before I drove down to Georgia with my dad, I never knew for sure how far I would make it. I knew I was determined to go as far as I could. I knew I was physically capable to walk the 2000+ miles. I was pretty sure I could adapt to whatever conditions arose and challenged me along the way. But to realize that I got up every morning and walked, footstep by footstep, the entire 2,179 miles with my big ole pack, through rain, sleet, snow and blazing heat, well, it just blows my mind. When I look at the AT map, it doesn't seem real. When I get out of bed in the morning, though, it does, in fact, seem as though, perhaps, I did actually walk all that way...
So, what should I do with this blog?? I guess I'm not sure. I've had such AMAZING amounts of UNBELIEVABLE support for my trip and my blogging that I feel like I can't just stop writing. I like blogging (though, it's nice not to have to write about everything that happens everyday in my life anymore - sorry mom!), and I will probably continue to update this site on a not-so-regular basis. It will take me a while to reply to all the comments and thank everyone I need to thank. (I'm sorry I couldn't reply much while I was hiking, but blogging alone was way too much typing on my little iPhone keyboard...)
I guess, stay tuned...?