Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What's Next???

Written by: Emily "Lightning" Ginger

Today is our three month anniversary!

I never thought I would be able to say that I lived in the woods for three months and walked over 1,000 miles during that time. It's been such a boost to have hit our halfway milestone, and I am relieved to finally have a substantial portion of the miles under our belt- I am more confident than ever that we will actually be able to summit Mt. Khatadin in Maine. During the first few months it was too overwhelming to think about the amount of miles that remained ahead of us so I just focused on adjusting to the foreign lifestyle I had thrown myself into (before coming out here I had never backpacked a day in my life, the most I had done were day hikes during camping trips- I threw myself into the deep end and wasn't even sure that I would be able to last a month living in the woods). Now that I have become accustomed to this lifestyle, I only have two months left of it and time is really flying by. Now that we are past the halfway point I can actually see the light at the end of the "green tunnel" and I feel closer to that end goal with every single step I take.

Originally when I came out here I expected to determine exactly what I want to do with the rest of my life career wise, or at least have a "next step" in mind. The past three months have been like a retreat because hiking hours on end everyday leaves you with nothing but your meditative thoughts to delve into, while being totally removed from all the bittersweet distractions of society. Though I haven't exactly figured out what I want to do with the rest of my life, I think it is just as significant that I have been able to reflect on that which is most important to me in life, and I have honed in on what's really worth stressing over. I have come to realize and appreciate the people I am fortunate enough to have in my life at home (FAMILY). I look forward to going home and rejuvenating friendships that I regret having not put more effort into. On the same note, I think it will be difficult to let go of the relationships I have built with people out here on the trail. I certainly hope that I will be able to keep in touch with some of my friends I have made out here.

Now that we have come this far, the miles have become easier and the scenery has become customary. My attention is now fixed on what the transition will be like for me when I return home. Will I be able to instill the changes that I've decided to? Will I slip back into my old ways? Will I be able to be as happy as I am out here when I return home? I hope I find a way to incorporate all that I have learned in this experience into my life- I look forward to the challenge and seeing what comes next for me.


  1. Hey Em,

    Hope you are doing well. We miss you and can't wait to see you in August.

    Jake's message to you is: I have a new slingshot and I am going to shoot you in the butt cheek.


  2. P.S. Look for a package from us in Dalton, MA if it doesn't get stuck at the border. Customs is soooo slow.

  3. I know what your transition will be like when you come back to a "real" life. You'll be back to stress and bills like the rest of us, but hopefully you'll be better prepared to put it all into perspective. After all, what's harder? Writing that 20 page paper or hiking 30 miles in the rain with 40 pounds on your back? Writing the paper is definitely "a piece of cake".

  4. You will definitely be a different person than when you started on this adventure. Although you will never forget the difficult times on the trail, you will more easily remember the great people that you met, their acts of generosity, and the fun of "chilling out" after a long day.