By Jennifer Pharr Davis
After graduating from collage, Jennifer isn't really definite what she desires to do along with her existence. She is interested in the Appalachian path, a 2175-mile footpath that stretches from Georgia to Maine. even though her family and friends imagine she's loopy, she units out by myself to hike the path, hoping it's going to supply her time to contemplate what she desires to do subsequent. the subsequent 4 months are the main bodily and emotionally difficult of her lifestyles. She speedy discovers that thru-hiking is tougher than she had imagined: dealing with blisters and aching shoulders from the 30-pound pack she includes; slumbering at the not easy wooden flooring of path shelters; mountain climbing via unending torrents of rain or even a snowfall. With each step she takes, Jennifer transitions from an over-confident university graduate to a pupil of the path, braving occasions she by no means imagined prior to her thru-hike. the path is stuffed with unforeseen kindness, generosity, and humor. And while tragedy moves, she learns that she will rely on folks to assist her in instances of desire.
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Extra resources for Becoming Odyssa: Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail
I laughed thinking about how I was probably the only thru-hiker who would ever take a picture from this spot on the trail. Then, as I thought more about it, I decided that I liked using the restroom in a place that no one else would ever visit. It definitely cut down on the germs. Our last full day of hiking before reaching Springer Mountain was the longest. By mid-afternoon I had covered fifteen miles, and I hadn’t seen Sarah and Doug since I left the campsite early that morning. Most of the thru-hikers who walked less than ten miles a day wore very heavy packs and hiking boots.
I wasn’t near a shelter and, with or without my friends, I would soon need to find a place to pitch my tent. As I began to look for a flat spot, I heard footsteps behind me. I turned to see Sarah and Doug making their way up the trail, and a wave of relief crashed over me as I realized that I wouldn’t have to tent alone. Together we hiked a hundred yards farther and came upon a makeshift campsite. There was one navy blue tent in the back corner of the flat clearing, but no sign of life. The three of us, tired and ready to stop, found two flat spots near the trail and began to set up our tents.
The floorboards looked dirty and the sides of the building had gaping holes. Sarah walked up behind me, put her hand on my shoulder, and said, “I guess we should try to stay here since there’s not enough daylight to set up our tents. ” Mice? I hadn’t thought about rodents living in the shelters. Thankfully, blue Mountain Shelter was too full of large, two-legged creatures for me to notice the small, four-legged kind. Amid the sleeping bags and backpacks, I met four college-aged girls who called themselves the Georgia Peaches.