One Month Update

Some random thoughts after another month on the trail (since my return)…
I’ve hiked almost exactly 400 miles this past month. I jumped back on at mile 240 and tonight I’m tenting at mile 643. I’m pleased with the progress and confident I can maintain my 100 miles per week average. This view was my reward as I passed mile 640.

The dichotomy between solitude and social is really quite remarkable. You can be alone for hours at time and then at shelters, or in hostels and in town, the conversation flows. It’s amazing how much you can learn about a person and why they’re here without ever knowing their real name (only their trail name).
The solitude gives you time to think and I’ve done plenty of that. I’ve reconciled a few things with a few more to go!
And, all the people I’ve meet are all so nice. From people on the trail to the folks in town, everyone is helpful, offering advice, their knowledge of the trail and good wishes. Definitely not your typical cross section of society. It will be interesting to see if this changes the further north I go.
I guess it’s only fair to mention things that amaze and annoy me. The views. They continue to be astounding. How can the next view possibly by better than the last 100 I’ve seen. Yet somehow it is.
I’m amazed at how many hikers smoke. Really. It was annoying when a guy I was sleeping next to in a shelter had to have a cigarette at 3am (no joke). The orange glow right next to me was kinda nice, but really?
People that cut across the switchbacks to save ten steps leading to additional erosion problems, that’s annoying. As it turns out, the switchbacks are not to help hikers, they’re there specifically to help control erosion. A straight path down a mountain invites a torrent of mud and debris.
People that leave their garbage versus leave no trace, take a guess, annoy or amaze?
The amount of trail maintenance that goes into keeping the AT in hikeable condition is amazing (like repairing the damage from the people that bypass the switchbacks). The number of volunteer hours must be incredible.
My brother Lou and his friend Don are planning on joining me at the end of June. I’m looking forward to that.
Also looking forward to Maryland where my son lives and seeing other members of the family.
I’ve started seeing Pennsylvania license plates here in Virginia, that’s encouraging! Hope springs eternal that Virginia does not last forever, only 554 miles.
Congrats to Zack Boynton on his graduation from Montclair. One of many events I have missed out on.
In total my health has been good. I was flat the last few days but worked through that and should be cranking again. I filter all my water. Oddly (joke) people that don’t always filter seem to get sick. No guarantee that you won’t get sick if you filter, but it can’t hurt.
My feet have mostly toughened up. I’m working through one last blister on my right foot. New Skin is amazing stuff.
If you’re keeping score, I’m on my third pair of shoes. Merrell Moab Ventilators to start. Too many blisters. Salomon Ultra Primes which felt great but broke down very quickly (they lasted only about 300 miles). And currently Oboz Switchbacks which I hope carry me through Virginia.
I seem to have stabilized at 163 pounds. Probably about 12 pounds lighter than when I started.
Thanks to my wife Diane, my family and all the friends who continue to support me on this adventure. Sent from my iPhone

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