And while we are extremely sorry about that and really aren’t too sure how so much time passed by without writing to/for you all, we kind of needed to detach from everything for a minute.
Here’s a quick run-through of the past two weeks or so: we crossed into Virginia (state four of fourteen), we got to play with wild ponies in Grayson Highlands State Park, we hit 500 miles, we passed the 1/4 way marker, we met a whole new slew of wonderful trail family, we hit 600 miles and we completed our highest mileage days of our walk so far (21.6 and 23.5).
Before jumping out on the trail, we knew that there would be decisions we would have to make and certain things in the “real world” that we would have to think about, but we assumed that for the most part our time on the trail would be unadulturated by thoughts of operating in society.
We were enticed by the idea of living in the woods, of carrying all of the possessions we need to survive on our backs, of using the providence of the land to survive to some extent.
Honestly, guys, the Trail is more than we ever expected.
It has opened our hearts, our eyes, our minds to so much newness.
It has overwhelmed us, encouraged us, challenged us and became our dearest friend.
We are constantly itching to keep moving forward because there is never a time of knowing just what you will see, who you will meet or what you will learn next.
It is inviting and entirely enticing with it’s endless opportunities of newness.
One thing we both keep coming back to consistently missing – having a home with one another.
Putting up groceries while the other walks the dog. Cooking dinner together in our very own kitchen. Constantly redecorating the space with new nic-nacs or artwork. Having a creative space that encourages our deepest passions – books and blank canvases, pens and paintbrushes, notebooks and easels.
The list is long and it often hits us in waves; sometimes it is so overwhelming that we are led to tears and other times it envokes a fond memory we can reflect on together.
We are homeless.
Not just in the ‘we are away from home while we are out here and then we will go back’ way, but in the ‘we loaded all of our belongings in a storage unit and don’t have a home’ kind of way.
But we chose this.
And we chose it with excitement and intent.
Part of our being out here on the Trail is to figure out the next step we will take together.
Thus bringing us to our decisions made and to be made…
We had thought that if this were the case, the decision would be easy. And for about 45 seconds, before our minds started racing to all of the practical aspects of each place, it was easy.
But for the past month we have been mulling over the decision and it has severely affected our time on the Trail.
A few days ago, I had an epiphany that I shared with Log and it really helped us moving forward from there.
I realized that the best thing one can do on the Appalachian Trail is to walk it. Just…walk.
I think a lot of people have preconceived notions about what the Trail will be like or what it will teach them or how much they’ll be changed by it, like we did going in. But in reality, all of those things interfere with what the Trail actually holds for the souls that walk it.
We forced ourselves to stop thinking, stop talking, stop fixating on this decision for a while and just walk.
And it worked.
To be fair, we sought wise counsel and said many prayers regarding the decision. We even did some research on cost of living, etc. But it wasn’t until we walked in silence that we truly came to peace about our decision.
We’re back to not having any ideas about where we are going next or what we’re going to be doing, but it’s different now.
It’s exciting, it’s inviting.
Just like Our Trail.