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.