I’m in the 100 mile wilderness. I have been hiking for 6 months and I’m a mere 4 days away from Katahdin. I feel the magnetic pull of the end. I must admit, my body is ready to finish.
But, there’s also a part of me that still likes to linger. I pause at the top of White Cap mountain to fly my kite on a windy day. Windy mountain tops are apparently my biggest weakness.
I pack up my kite, and head back to the trail. 5 minutes later, I catch my first view of Katahdin. I text him with the exciting news:
I’ll have this moment forever.
I look back at Katahdin, the mountain I’ve been walking to for 6 months. She is the reason I walk in the rain, the reason I’ve put everything else on hold, the reason I quit my job, the reason I’ve hiked with blisters and in the dark.
She lays in front of me, with a flat 70 miles between us.
I feel tears sliding down my cheeks.
As I walk north, I think of his words. Nothing seems to last forever. Power, love, money. They are all such fleeting things. But, I will always have this experience. I will always have these memories.
Four days later, I wasn’t just catching a glimpse of Katahdin. I was at the base of the mountain, ready to close this chapter of my life.
I submitted Katahdin on Sunday, October 6th.
I am now an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker.
And I will be one, forever.
For believing in me before I ever dared to believe in myself.
It’s been a wonderful journey.