Slowing down and being fully “here”

Two nights ago I stealth camped 1.5 miles out from Sunrise Mountain, with a plan to leave camp at 4am to catch this sunrise below. The animal (99.99% sure it was a bear) that visited my camp most of the night made waking up early easy. This wasn’t my first time camping alone, but it was my first time bushwhacking to a makeshift campsite, attempting to scare an animal away in the middle of the night, and then hiking out alone in the dark this morning. Boy was it rewarding!

I continue to get better at enjoying the trail as it comes and living in the moment, rather than methodically planning out my days. At the beginning of this journey, I probably would have hiked past this spot yesterday because I felt it was more important to get in miles while there is daylight. That is the exact opposite of my mindset now and I am so proud of myself for getting to this point. Though it still requires a conscious effort, I now consistently wake up, listen to my body, take the blue blazes (side trails to views off the AT), and am not afraid to set up camp after only 8 miles. The trail is about so much more than the miles.

That said, for these final 800ish miles I want to challenge myself with social media. Though I enjoy sharing my journey and appreciate the support, I’m curious how I can further grow from this experience when I completely live in the moment and don’t worry about posting so much on Instagram and Facebook. I will continue to take pictures for my own memory and share important milestones with you all, but don’t be concerned when my activity on these mediums slows down quite a bit😊 I do plan to continue this blog as it has been effective as a reflective tool for me, rather than the more “live” posts that Instagram and Facebook showcase.

Phases of a NJ sunrise with a perfect moon sliver🌙 at Stokes State Scenic Mountain Lookout

I’m looking forward to hopping off trail in a few days to visit friends in NYC. Even though that’s where I was living before the trail, I am expecting this to be quite the culture shock! I already know I will be eager to get back on trail, but am looking forward to seeing friends and letting my body rest a bit.

– Rocket

6 thoughts on “Slowing down and being fully “here”

  1. Darlene Keelor

    Sounds like a good plan! The bear incident sounds scary! I will miss your presence on social media but will look forward to your blogs! I am sure it will be nice to see your friends in NYC!! Be safe 🚀 and enjoy the last 800ish miles!👍❤️🥰

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Jim Keelor

    Will the NY “culture shock “be you seeing them or them seeing you? 🙂 In any case…your ‘bear bag” precaution probably will help you in the city also:)Love.ya! glad to see your sore tootsies are getting better.



  3. Steve Chase

    Sydney it will be interesting to have your perspective on what the difference would be if you were going from the north end of the trail to the south end instead?


  4. Dawn Landes

    Beautiful sunrise — NJ never looked so good! lol Thanks for sharing it with us. Take care, be safe — and that goes for NYC too! xoxo


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