Matt at the GA/NC border

Matt at the GA/NC border

We’re getting our hiking legs back quickly and picking up our routine as well. After a crazy night of thunderstorms and lightning, in which our tent performed valiantly and kept us safe an d dry, we are now sitting in our tent near a shelter with the sun going down and the heavy winds of the day now beginning to calm as well.

Today I thought about what it is that I really enjoy about the hiking lifestyle. Our style of putting in miles is often questioned and we were asked yesterday if we have fun out here. I definitely think that we have fun and enjoy the lifestyle. However, what we get enjoyment out of while on the trail is different from many. We enjoy the physical activity. I feel myself getting stronger physically and mentally. We enjoy hiking big miles. We’re not obsessed with getting miles in but it feels good at the end of the day to see that we’ve covered a lot of ground. I like pushing myself and feeling tired at the end of the day. I enjoy the time for introspection and the time to speak with Julie.

I do like the trail for many of the reasons that other hikers do as well. I enjoy the social aspect of it and we’ve met some interesting people out here already. Due to the ground we tend to cover though, we don’t stay around many people very long before they’re miles behind us. I also like the scenery and all the beauty around me. However, after nearly 5000 miles of trail covered in my life, I’ve had the opportunity to see so many great views, scenery, and wildlife that I don’t feel the urge to stop and take a picture each time now. I appreciate it, but it’s rare now that I see something truly amazing as when I first started spending long periods of time outside in nature.

It’s a great life out here. Simple. We figure out where we’re staying each night, where we’re getting water, and what we’re going to eat. Sometimes there are other challenges, like negotiating the rainstorm of last night, but those aren’t everyday occurrences, and with the right attitude, can be enjoyed as much as the rest because they’re all part of this amazing trail experience.

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