A LongTime Ago, in a State Not Too Far Away…

LongTime and Click thank YOU!!

…I was about to embark on the last 5.2 miles of a very long walk in the woods. Together through good times and bad, through rain and through heat, (not to mention some wind, snow, tornadoes, hurricanes and bear encounters), my dad and I had traversed the varied lands of the 14 states which are home to the Appalachian Trail. Having already ascended the equivalent of 16 Mt. Everests, we had just one more mountain to climb, Katahdin, the destination for which we had been heading for nearly six months. One year ago today, we climbed “The Greatest Mountain,” as named by the Penobscot Indians, accompanied by my husband-to-be. Along for the day, to help see us through that very tough climb, it soon became apparent that he was there for more — to help guide us back to the land of the clean, the connected and the employed. (This proved no easy feat.)

It was abrupt, to put it mildly, to go from arising to the sound of birdsong in rural Maine to being jolted awake by car horns and traffic outside of my Brooklyn window. After the utter appreciation and joy that a daily shower and on-demand electricity could bring began to wear off, the reality of needing a job and having to pay the bills set in. Had my natural pace slowed too much for city life? What did I really want out of life? My now husband was thankfully and eternally patient as I found myself yearning for that sense of calm, clarity and inexpressible metaphysical connection to nature that I had achieved on the trail.

But, like the miles on the AT, I muddled through the rough stuff. Step by step, I’ve regrouped, reconnected, made new connections and perhaps am finally learning that I have the ability to create my own career path. It will be a long journey, but you don’t get to Maine in one day either. It took LongTime longer to get back to work than he would have liked, but the trail taught him how to roll with it too, toting his new mantra, “I can handle it, I’m a thru-hiker. We can get through anything.” He temporarily relocated for a job, only to get a better offer back at home two months later. When you learn to resign to the hard stuff, the reward becomes that much sweeter.

It’s amazing how much my time on the Appalachian Trail has changed and continues to change me. Not a day goes by without me thinking about it, sometimes swelling with pride in thinking about the fact that I actually finished it, or sometimes it’s just a funny memory — like the time in Virginia when LongTime fell in a creek, or when we spent a whole morning coming up with a song about pizza, or when every word out of our mouth for the day was said in a mock Nebraskan (or was it Indiana?) accent of a fellow thru-hiker….

So much more than a physical feat, my journey on the Appalachian Trail was the ultimate test of will and determination, often bringing me beyond what I thought were my emotional limits, in glory, in pain and in love. I’m super grateful for my time on the Appalachian Trail, the associated friendships I continue to cultivate and the desire I have to introduce and share that joy with others. The time I spent with my dad will only become more meaningful and special as the years press on. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my friends and family at home, on the web and on the trail, and I certainly couldn’t have done it without Doni.

Thanks for joining in our experience!
~ Click! 2011 Nobo

Below are some pics of some hiking trips from this year: Harriman State Park, a trip with section hiker “Whim” to Fahnestock State Park to give trail magic, Big Slide Mt in the Adirondacks with our nephews, Grayson & Parker, The Devil’s Path in the Catskills with new friends Adrienne and Katherine and pics from Trail Days 2012, an annual thru-hiker reunion in Damascus, Virginia. I’m so happy when I can share my love of the outdoors with others!

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3 Responses to A LongTime Ago, in a State Not Too Far Away…

  1. Darren says:

    just thinking about the whole ‘getting a job’ part makes me want to go hike for 8 months!

  2. LongTime says:

    I’ve been a bit blue the past few days, thinking that after September 5th, I’ll have to start looking back on the AT adventure as what we did TWO years ago (then THREE, then FOUR…), but I think I’ve just come to my senses. I will be forever grateful to Susan and Doni for supporting me and CLiCK! on this hike, and for everyone else who supported us by any means, big or small, along the way.
    CLiCK!’s right…it was life-changing. We’ll never be the same. We’ll always have the tremendous memories, and now we can go forward looking toward the next big adventure. And, once in a while, when my head is on real straight, I still stop and think how much I appreciate clean dry socks.

  3. amy says:

    you both are forever my heroes!! its so wonderful to hear from you guys again, especially on this site, where ur truest selves just shine so bright!! Endless gratitude for sharing your journey, your rawness, your humor and your gloriousness! big love and happiest thru hike’n anniversary to you both!!

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