1. Downhill is tough on the toes.
2. Even when you think you can’t go another step, you can.
3. My mom told me that hiking was a great time to say the rosary, she was right.
4. Gap becomes your favorite word.
5. After every grueling uphill there is a slightly less grueling downhill.
6. MRE’s taste terrible. Now, I have even more respect for our military.
7. The go girl is a pretty nifty invention. I laughed when i bought it and I never thought I’d use it, but it came in handy.
8. Shelters have mice. (I only stayed in one… That was enough)
9. The two things I was most worried about before leaving became the things I thought about the least.
10. Privys are much like the French Quarter… Smells worse when it rains.
11. My husband is patient… Who knew? Any time I wanted to hoist my pack over the edge, lay down on the trail and give up, he talked me into going forward.
12. The true grit ALICE pack is for the birds. That thing was heavy. I already have a better pack for next year.
13. No banjo music. All people we met were kind and had encouraging words. We shared a shelter one evening with a 75 year old lady who was hiking the trail alone. She shared her snickers bars with me… A total stranger.
14. Duct tape sticks better than band-aids… good thing I brought cute duct tape.
15. No one cares if you stink, they do too.
16. I never missed electricity.
17. The views can’t be described, nor can they be captured with a camera.
18. For me, hiking 8 miles with my pack on was harder than running a half-marathon.
19. No matter how careful you are, you will have dirt in your tent, between your toes, and under your fingernails.
20. I can’t wait until next year, and the year after that, and the year after that…
So a huge thanks to Danny Smith for helping me to embrace the whole idea as a good one. And thanks to Chris Thompson and his family for making it all possible.
P. S. I didn’t see a single bear.