It’s the Final Countdown!!

A mere 187.9 miles to go until we summit Mt. Katahdin in Baxter State Park and come to the end of our 2181 mile Appalachian hiking adventure. And though we’ve been out here for five months and one week, and though it’s exciting to know we’re 91.4% done, and though we’ve managed to survive the toughest stretches of trail, I can downright assure you that these last 14 days on the trail cannot and will not pass quickly enough! ‘Cuz I just wanna go hooooome!!!

It’s interesting to see what’s happening to the morale of the Nobo thru-hikers out here. You can tell by the looks on our faces that we all feel the same — tired. And not just tired but downright exhausted. Mentally and physically kaput. So close to the end, but miles still measuring in the hundreds to go. We should be thrilled to have walked two thousand miles and still be in one piece! (Albeit many of us with ankle or knee braces). But being out here day after day after day has become, I don’t know, simply tiring.

Deep down we know we’ve done something big. We know that not many have the strength and determination it takes to have gotten us all the way from Dahlonega, Georgia to Stratton, Maine and onto the next 187.9 miles. I mean, holy crap! We’ve walked almost the entire length of the country!

And we’ve done so in the heat, the rain, the snow…and unlike the post office, even on Sundays! We’ve spent over five months living outside with mosquitos, black flies, deer flies, ticks, frogs, toads, garter snakes, rattle snakes, mice, bears, chipmunks, squirrels, birds, coyotes and supposedly moose (but I haven’t seen one yet)….

And we’ve survived. Survived slips, trips, falls, sprained ankles, bumps on the head, countless bruises, endless cuts and scrapes, poison ivy, bug bites, sunburn, windburn, rashes, chafing, pimples, jammed toes, blistered toes, sore and aching muscles, sore and aching joints, swollen feet….

But you know all this already.

What I may not have expressed in so many words in the past, is that though I may have had the tools for survival with me, the company of my dear dad and the comforts of town foods and beds every so often, I have really, really, really missed Doni and spending time with him and our kitties in our home. There is nothing quite like the feeling of coming home to someone who loves you.

So just two more weeks and I’m home free! Thoughts of such will be pulling me up that final ascent.

Thanks to all of our loyal supporters – your encouragement has helped move me along this whole journey long. Oh and I put up some new photos last week under the Click’s gallery page. Please check them out!

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9 Responses to It’s the Final Countdown!!

  1. LongTime says:

    …Yeah! Every bit of what she said! ..Except the part about Doni and the kitties. Don’t get me wrong; I like Doni and the kitties, but I miss Susan and my home incredibly! Believe it or not, I look forward to chores around the house, even!

  2. Diana says:

    Just seeing this today! (Not sure why it didn’t pop up in my inbox.) I am so excited for you guys. The final push. Yay for you guys and all thru hikers! You guys are no joke!

  3. Don says:

    Mike & Mel,
    Best of luck, we have enjoyed following your progress as it has brought back memories of Bushman’s hike 2 years ago. Enjoy and treasure the last leg of your journey.

  4. Smallpeace says:

    It really is such a wonderful accomplishment—to have spent such quality time with your pop, to have challenged yourself physically, and to have lived so simply for the past five months, and with respect to nature. Kudos to you, my dear. I will be pouring over your archives. xo

  5. amy wolfe says:

    ahh girl!! let me know if “its the final countdown!!” has been stuck in your head on instant replay!! its catchy one!! i think every time it comes into your head you should shoot a rocker arm up to the sky and give the best head slash forward you got!!(all the hair u got whipping into your face!) i’ll be doing it with ya, cuz that song comes into my head all too often, but from now, til u finish ur amazing mission, my rock n roll head thrust will have extra gusto with you and longtime deeply inset in my prayers and heart!! (Its funny i actually remember recently busting out with that song and joe not knowing it, my jaw is still agape with shock!) how? anyhoo…. admiration and awe doesn’t cut it sista! u are ahhhmazing!!! luv u tons! rock on!!

  6. amy wolfe says:

    oops!!………… joe says “what the…what.. of course i know that song!” he just didnt know the lyrics… sooo…. does he really know it??!? you decide!! lol!! madd love to all!! too funny!!

  7. Darren says:

    Holy SHIT Amy!!!! You just totally screwed Melissa! That has to be the catchiest song EVER and now it’s totally going to be in her head for the next 187 miles. They used to always play that song in the Gravitron at Adventureland when we were growing up.

    Oh hi Melissa. Can’t wait to see you, it’s so close! Lots and lots of beer and boozy brunches await you here in the BK. When are you going back to do those extra 80 miles or so that you owe? Might try to tag along a little.

    • amy wolfe says:

      wow darren!!! i have not thought of adventure land in ages!! let alone gravitron!! and….. we should have a massive herd of tag-a-longs for that 80 mile backtrack! like a record breaking “appalacahian unheard of herd!!” cuz support and completion is the word!! we got ur back Click!! luv to all!!

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