Last April when Will and I were hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail in Tennessee, we met two thru-hikers named Stoat and Poppins. We didn’t talk to them for very long, but it was my first introduction to these interesting creatures with backpacks and trail names, so it stuck with me. What these girls were doing sounded crazy to me. After spending one night in the woods and pushing through a hard hike that day, I couldn’t wait to get home to rest, eat, and shower. The idea that their hike wouldn’t end for another five MONTHS was unfathomable to me.
Later that year, maybe in September, I thought about Stoat and Poppins again and wondered if they had finished the trail. A quick Google search showed that they had! The hiker gals had made it to Maine and were giving a talk at their church about the experience. I immediately thought back on my life over the past five months… and how long ago that Tennessee hike felt. I could not believe that while everything else was happening in my own life and in the world that spring, through the summer, and into the fall, they were just waking up every day and hiking. Every day for five months.
As I prepare to visit Will up north this coming weekend, it’s hard to believe he has been away for so long. In some ways the time has passed quickly, but when I think back to February 27th, it seems ages away. A thousand things have happened since then, big and small. I got a flat tire. I got a new job. I graduated from Leadership Winston-Salem, a program I started last October. My sister Kati lived with me for a while, and then moved out into her own (her very first!) apartment. I took on a new freelance job as editor of a magazine. Three friends got married (and another couple will get married before Will returns). One of my friends gave birth to her second child; another to her first.
Life moves fast! A lot has happened with Will too, as you can probably imagine. He’s traveled through 9 states and is in the 10th – Connecticut – right now. He’ll be in Massachusetts by the time I get there on Thursday. Check out the photos here for a peek into his everyday life!
1,483 miles down, 705 to go!