Well my 2020 journey has ended. This summer, I hiked 838 miles from the middle of PA, through NJ, NY, CT, MA, NH and into Maine. I started the year quite unexpectedly (and very unready) after a layoff and the Covid-19 pandemic hit. In late May, I decided to spend the pandemic-summer hiking north on the Appalachian trail. It was a tough year on trail since the northern half is much harder than the southern half, in my humble estimation. Hiking in the time of Covid was very interesting and at times very solitary.
New friends were discovered and each mile reminded me of how the trail changes a person's heart. I was able to raise more funds for the Ironheart Foundation and be an ambassador for positivity and the overcoming spirit for which Ironheart members are known.
I hiked slowly and safely like I always do. I was proud of a few 15 and 17 mile days but mostly my comfty zone was 11 or 12 miles. I did single-digit-mile days and zero-mile-days when I needed them and took good care of my feet and legs the whole way.
I just did the math. There are 165 miles of the AT left for me to discover. Most of them in Maine and a little bit in New Hampshire. I will be back in 2021, God willing. This little bit of trail left contains some of the hardest miles to include the Wildcats in NH. These looming and rugged section hikes for next season will inspire me to stay in hiking shape and keep the passion alive.
I appreciate your support this year. Please donate to the Foundation as David Watkins and the rest of the Foundation are doing amazing stuff to support those directly impacted by heart disease.
See you up the trail.