1 month ago
Today was by far the most beautiful day I’ve ever had on trail, as well as the hardest.
We woke up this morning to sub 40-degree weather, so I took my time getting out of camp. We started the day by climbing to the peak of Liberty Mountain, and from there you could see the entire ridge we were about to walk. 🤩 Incredible.
Next, it was time to hike the Franconia Ridge. I remember seeing a picture of this years ago and thinking, “No way that’s the AT.” It was absolutely the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen! Pretty sure I had a smile on my face the entire time. ☺️ The climbs were tough but the beauty was outstanding. Gah.
We stopped for a break at Galehead Hut after hiking a little over 11 miles, and we were told that the rest of our tramily had decided to push to the next hut for a WFS (work for stay), which put our mileage for the day at over 18. I was exhausted, but we pushed on. Immediately after the hut, we had a huge climb that was straight up and nothing but boulders... and for the first time ever on trail, I was hit with self-doubt, anxiety, and feelings that I couldn’t do this.
I pushed to the top (probably the slowest I’ve ever been, poor Arrow waiting on me), where one of my friends was waiting on me. I sat next to him and started bawling, needing to release the stress and relief of what I just went through. Yes, my body can handle it, but sometimes my brain likes to try and tell me otherwise. This hiking thing is no joke, and it definitely comes down to being able to win the battle in between your ears.
We made it to the hut where many eager weekend hikers asked us questions about thru-hiking and asked for stories, and we got to eat a home-cooked meal and see the Milky Way. Tonight completely lifted my spirits, and I know that making it through today made me that much stronger. I’m currently warm inside, snuggled up on my sleeping pad and feeling so dang grateful for all these experiences I’m having. “Strength grows in the moments when you think you can’t go on but you keep going anyway.” 💗