Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Next Chapter

Southbound on the Appalachian Trail 2015
I finished a southbound thru hike of the Appalachian Trail a couple of weeks ago and when I returned, decided to make this blog public again. Truth is, I miss writing and blogging about the natural world. I still seem to be experiencing a strange combination of writer's block and disillusionment with the internet these days, making it difficult to even want to post anything. I went on a 5 month internet fast during my thru hike. No facebook, no email, no blogging, no news, no internet-period. I brought no headphones for listening to music either. I attempted to blog the first two weeks and found that I had zero desire to do so. The internet/digital fast felt amazing. Honestly, I had internet cravings the entire hike, it's what I imagine an addiction must feel like. They never went away. However, I felt completely present each day, and got a kick out of seeing other hikers stuck to their phones, even on trail. Well, like they say HYOH. I'd highly recommend an internet fast for future hikers if they desire to do so.

That being said, I am in a period of transition once again. Probably the hardest part about this hiking lifestyle. I feel like I am starting over once again. I'm leaning towards finding work in Maryland once again to be closer to family for a time period. In California, I had such a fantastic wilderness/exploration diet, but really missed my family. Here I have family but worry I will be suffering from a lack of wilderness/exploration. At the same time, I've always believed that one can find all of the wonder, awe, and fulfillment in their own backyard as they can find on top of the loftiest mountaintop 3000 miles away if they look hard enough. I guess that will be my challenge in the coming days. Not sure what this means for the blog, but it may become more mundane for a time period as I search for the spirit of wilderness in the concrete jungle.

There are more hikes marinating in the recesses of my brain as well. Along the Appalachian Trail, I met a trail legend named Bob Peoples. He is a trail angel, hostel owner, and long distance hiker infamous for his hospitality. One thing he said that I remember most was this: "Whenever you complete one item on the 'life bucket list,' be sure to add two more."

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