It’s been a month since I finished the trail.

It’s been two months since I finished the trail.

It has been 3 months since I finished hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Oh man, it’s nearly Christmas and I’ve tried to write this post so many times! Time is marching on so quickly and here is an (overdue) update on post trail life, the universe and everything…

Ok, now it’s now the New Year and I’m finally getting my shit together…

Well, now it’s April (the very end of!) and maybe I can finally get around to publishing this…


Boston, Massachusetts 

When I started the AT I had no idea how I was going to get from the bottom of Katahdin back to Boston. After I had climbed Katahdin and I was stood at the bottom, I still had no idea how I was going to get back to Boston. I had a couple of kind offers of help during the trail, but it was really hard to plan anything with our summit date in question right up to the eleventh hour. 

Having chosen to come down from Katahdin via the less travelled path (it is my understanding that most people choose to come down the same way they went up), it being the weekend of the P People celebrations and Baxter state park supposedly being closed to regular people (it wasn’t as far as we could see), we weren’t sure if we would be able to get a ride out. There were plenty of cars in the parking area, but most people were there for the weekend and weren’t heading out of the park, and the few people that did drive by had cars completely packed out. We knew hitching with 4 of us was going to be unlikely and we would probably have to split up at some point. Jukebox worked her charm to get some poor man to drive us the the edge of the state park – which was a lot further than we thought starting to think we would never get a ride, when a car pulled over – it was a man and his two kids who we had passed on the way down. If I remember correctly he wasn’t actually going to Millinocket but he had room for all of us in his car and he took us there anyway, right to the door of the hostel. 

The next decision we had to make was how to continue our onward journeys. After going round and round with different ideas we eventually came up with a plan where Peaches hired a car with the intention of road tripping back to her home in Kentucky and dropping me back in Boston MA on the way. This meant we all got to spend an extra day together in Millinocket relaxing, eating and just decompressing before moving on.

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Still it all you can eat mode

Back in Boston I got to stay with my pre-trail hosts, Debbie and Jim, for a week before I flew back to England. Their home is the perfect post-trail retreat. Tranquil, quiet, calm and next to the water. I was able to sleep, eat, listen to Hamilton on repeat and pretend the adventure wasn’t really over yet. I spent a few days lying in a hammock, eating ice cream for breakfast and uploading the thousands of photos and videos I took to my computer. 

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It was my 36th birthday while I was there, so I decided to go to into the centre of Boston for the day. It was a good decision as the weather had finally broken after a few days of extreme heat and humidity – no, I still don’t enjoy being in a humid climate. I was sitting on the balcony trying to work at my computer and the sweat was running down my face, it took me far too long to realise that just two feet away was a lovely air conditioned house and there was no need to sit outside and suffer!

So after a spectacular afternoon thunderstorm the weather broke and the temperature dropped by 14ºC. I’m not sure I could live somewhere where the weather changes so drastically from day to day.

Anyway, enough about the weather! I took the train into Boston and this is what I saw…

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George Washington’s going home.
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The Boston Red Sox’s pink sign…
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Seeing if it lives up to the hype. Conclusion – meh.
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1620 calories of birthday treat
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being a tourist on the Freedom Trail
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Checking out the cannolis on recommendation 
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An old building (in American terms)

When I got back Debbie and Jim took me out on their boat for sunset fizz and to check their lobster pots, or labstah as they say in Boston.

There were a couple in the pots and we took them back and cooked them. It is quite an amazing experience to catch your own food and cook it and eat it. Although I have to admit I only really did the eating part. I observed the catching and had no part at all in the killing or cooking of it! We are totally detached from our food as it’s so conveniently supplied to us, processed to look like food and not a chopped up bit of animal. If I had to do it myself I don’t think I could, but ultimately a lot more sustainable than mass farming. Anyway that’s a discussion for another time, as it was, it was the best lobster roll I have ever had.

A cute little getaway. I could live there!

What a catch!
cheers to 36!

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From pot to plate in just a few hours

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I do like a Lobstah roll

The birthday treats continued when Debbie and Jim took me on a Whale watching tour. long term blog followers may remember that I had tried to do this as a birthday treat to myself when I was in Vancouver having finished my first round on the PCT, but it was cancelled due to rough weather. 3 year on I finally get to watch the whales.

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It was a little rough out there and pretty windy! But it was awesome. We spent a bit of time following a whale which was feeding really close to the shore. It was going up and down the shore line and breaking the surface with its huge mouth open before flopping back down on the other water. A little further out we saw a couple of other whales who were slapping their fins and tails on the surface. It was fantastic.

Before I had to go home we went out on the boat and checked the lobster pots again. And all of this is basically in their back yard – how cool!

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Me being really uncool

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I can’t thank Debbie and Jim enough for their incredible hospitality and generosity

The Wedding

So the reason I chose to hike the trail so quickly – not that 115 days is the fastest time, but in an ideal world I would have taken a little more time – was because I had a wedding to get back to!  

I don’t have any siblings and when I was growing up I spent loads of time with my cousin Craig, who is the closest thing to a brother I have, and having missed a few family gatherings already I wasn’t going to miss this one. The brief was walk quickly.

So I scrubbed all the dirt off, parted with my puffy and put my party clothes on to celebrate the wedding of Craig and Richard.

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Heartache and happiness – life after adventure part 4

I had all this in one post, but it was getting a bit long! So stay tuned for a post trial life update – injuries, post adventure blues, working, eating too much…and of course details about the next adventure!

 

 

 

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