Week One/Connecticut 

And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul. 

-Unknown 

This first week (or ten days to be exact) has been full of ups and downs – both literally and figuratively. 

Finally being on the trail has been surreal. It’s also been challenging, and at times even a bit discouraging. Yet, I am already in love with the journey I’m on. And I know it has more than I can imagine in store for me. 

As I sit here in the lovely home of a woman who is hosting Corinne and I for our first ever “zero” day, it’s impossible to type up everything that’s happened so far. Instead, I’ve decided to share some moments in two lists — moments that make you question, and moments that make it worth it. There are points throughout the day when you stop and ask yourself, is this really what I should be doing? Why am I doing this? Is this crazy? Can I even make it? But then there are always other moments, better moments, that make it all worth it. 🙂 

Moments That Make You Question: 

  • The very first uphill when your legs have already started burning. Can I really hike 2,181 miles? Who thought that was a good idea?
  • When you realize you can sweat more than you ever imagined. (Bonus questioning moment – when your day nine stink hits a whole new level.)
  • Running out of toilet paper. How close are we to the next town? 
  • Being attacked by mosquitos as you stand over a basically dry stream trying to filter two liters of water. 
  • Day two of tuna packets for lunch. 
  • Hearing every creeking/rustling sound as you wait to fall asleep in your tent. (Especially for those with a vivid imagination.)
  • St. John’s Ledges — “steep stairs” down to the Housatonic river that are actually one giant rock scramble. AWOL (our guidebook) got the “stair” part wrong, but the steep part VERY right. 
  • No laundry for days. Gross. 

Moments That Make It All Worth It: 

  • The view after a long tough climb. 
  • Cooling off in a river after a hot, sweaty day. Nothing is more refreshing. And it is SO GOOD not to be sweaty! 
  • Lying in the grass after our outdoor shower in Falls Village, eating a fresh apple in the sunshine. I wish life could always be like that. 
  • Trail magic!!! (This is when people leave/set up snacks, drinks, dinner, etc. on the trail for hikers to enjoy.)
  • Waking up to birds and sunshine. 
  • A real shower and a zero day with new friends. 
  • Walking through sunny meadows, shady forests, and board-walked marshes and just being amazed at how much creation you get to experience in one day. 
  • Hitting the 50 mile mark.
  • Finishing your first state. Yay for Connecticut! 
  • Encouraging letters from friends (Special shout out to Katie, Ruth, and Sami!). 
  • Trail friends. So far we haven’t been able to keep up with many of the ones we’ve made (we don’t have our “trail legs” yet), but the people on the trail are some of the coolest ones around. 

Overall, it’s been amazing. The trail is never quite what you expect, but we’re taking each day and each moment as it comes. There will be many more moments of questioning. BUT I also know there will be MANY more moments that make it worth it. 

Can’t wait for this next week. 🙂 

———–

P.S. My first mail drop is coming up in Cheshire, MA. If you want to send something my way I always love letters/notes/pictures — and snacks are always welcome too! Some people have asked for ideas — any sort of bar (breakfast/protein/granola/candy), dried fruit, packaged snacks (cheese crackers, cookies, gummies, little Debbie’s), mac and cheese, slim Jim, beef jerky, etc. 

Kathryn Bissett 

ATTN: Hold for AT hiker, ETA – 7/2

General delivery

Cheshire, MA 01225

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