We have now covered more than 10% of the trail – to you it may seem insignificant but to us it is huge.
We had a very good day. After a high calorie dinner in Gatlinberg our energy levels were good. The route was great, path changing from smooth to rocky to mud to boulders, keeping it interesting. Walked on ridges with slopes falling away from us on both sides and sweeping views. Close to the day’s starting point there were some families doing day hikes, nice to chat to the kids.
I have had several messages asking “why do you do this”, “do you really enjoy it” and “how do you motivate yourself”.
We really enjoy it. We do! Not all the time; when you train for a big race you also don’t always enjoy it, but when that race is run, boy: does that feel good. At times during each day we struggle but that glow at the end of the day….yes we enjoy it. And as we get stronger we enjoy it more.
We have always enjoyed hiking and this is to the power of 8. It’s a physical challenge. It’s a mental challenge. We are outdoors. We are in nature. Every day is different. We meet interesting people (just now we had a long chat with a guy who worked on the Pacific Crest Trail as a trail maintainer). We see small American towns. This was our lunch spot today.
There is always something to look forward to. When you wake up you look forward to walking as you are tired of lying on the ground. By the end of the day you look forward to crawling into your sleeping bag as you are so tired of walking. You look forward to finding a nice spot to have lunch and you look forward to finding fresh cold water. You look forward (so much) to a Fanta (all 600ml of it! that’s the size of a cold drink here) when you head into town.
Just like a road trip the journey is not the means to the end, it is the whole point.
Trevor taught me that stepping outside my comfort zone is good for me. And we are outside our comfort zone. We know we can walk like this for a week. We have now seen we can walk like this for three weeks. Can we do 6 months? Don’t know yet. Can we handle the weather? Don’t know yet. Will our bodies stay injury free? Time will tell.
But there is a pleasure in trying. And it is after all just a walking holiday 😀