Happy Veterans Day! It was truly a pleasure serving along side these men and women (+ so many more not pictured). A big thank you (for your service) to some of my favorite Veterans: MSG Dean Johnson (Dad), SGT Tara Decker (my bestie), and SGT Brent Peterson (Part-time Lover). Let’s show our nation’s Veterans how much they mean to us by supporting Homes for Our Troops in their effort to provide severely injured Veterans with homes that allow them to live independent lives. I think we can raise $4,000!!!!!
I forgot to mention all the good things about being done like hot showers, a warm bed, fresh fruit, lots of time with Brent, Lucy kisses, and jamming in my car. Not all aspects about being done with a thru hike are bad. Plus I got my job back!!! Just thought I should add in all the pros :).
Hello everyone. Sorry I have been M.I.A for a few days as the reality of finishing my thru hike set in. I have to say I miss the trail already. I miss waking up with purpose and a destination. I miss the sites and sounds of the wilderness. I miss the way being a thru hiker made me feel. I have never felt so strong, brave, or beautiful. I felt more at home in my dirty, stinky hiker clothes than I do in my normal clothes and makeup. Maybe the feeling of loss will wear off and I will return to my old self but maybe I don’t want to. The trail taught me how to slow down even while pushing myself to keep going and keep walking. I reflected on what is really important and who I really want to be. Once again I have shown myself that I can do anything if it truly means something to me. I hear the trail calling my name already and I hope that I can answer in the next few years because there is still so much more I want to learn about myself and the world. I will write on here from time to time if you wish to continue following my adventures. Thank you all for supporting, inspiring, and following me on my thru hike. I could not even begin to explain what it has meant to me. If you want to donate the page is and will remain open for some time. Thanks again everyone.
Thanks Gregg for your hospitality and for the ride back to the trail ( Forgot to get a picture of Marie-Anne).
Awesome trailside rest stop in Centuria.
Another big thanks to Crazy Creek for this awesome backpacking chair.
Our hiking companions today: Joe, Wanda, Nanette and Chet.
Thanks for coming out today guys. It was so wonderful to meet you all.
Lucy was so excited to see us.
We made it!!!
Well I’m officially done with my Ice Age Trail thru hike. We woke up to a delicious breakfast thanks to Gregg and Marie-Anne and some more great conversation before heading back to the trail around 8. Big thanks for the great food, shower, conversation, and good nights sleep. About half way through our day we were joined by Wanda who had came out to meet and hike with us on our last day. As the day progressed we picked up more and more supporters including Chet (who had helped me in my early planning stages via email), Joe and Nanette. We even got to hike a new but not complete or officially open segment of trail. It was obvious to both of us how much pride this chapter takes in their trail and the trail definetly showed it. About a mile out we met Brent on the trail. He hiked the first mile with me three months ago so it felt perfect to have him hike the last mile with me today. Waiting at the western terminus was Lucy, my Grandma, and my Dad. As you can see we were greeted with sign, banners, and beer! It’s been a few hours and we are on our way home and it still doesn’t feel real. Its hard to believe that my grand adventure has come to an end. I’m glad to be done with cold nights, rain, snow, wet gear, sore feet, and rude people but I will miss the views, friendly people, and sense of freedom. I am already planning my next adventure. Hopefully it is soon, on the Appalachian Trail, and with Brent but I guess we will see. I think I will post more tomorrow because I’m falling asleep in the car and my phone is dying. Thanks for following my journey and encouraging and supporting me. It means so much to me. Goodnight everyone.
Getting packed up for the last time.
Cafe Wren. Hiker friendly and delicious food.
I can’t believe that today was our last full day on the trail. As usual we hiked about 17 miles. A few hours into our day we made it to the Gandy Dancer trail and it was smooth sailing from there. It is an old railroad so its smooth and flat. Just outside of Luck we came up to a cooler with a note pointing us towards Gregg and Marie-Anne’s house. We stopped to say hi but decided against slackpacking since we’re so close to the finish line. We ate a delicious lunch at Cafe Wren, a must stop for hikers. They are super hiker friendly and even had a trail register. With only 4 or 5 miles to go we headed out again with full stomachs. I don’t know why but today my whole body ached. My knees, ankles, back and shoulders are done with this whole hiking business. Hopefully my body can cooperate for just one more day. It really doesn’t have much of a choice because I plan to finish strong. I know Brent will have a beer waiting for me at the end. Anyways, just outside of Milltown Gregg picked us up and brought us back to his house. Marie-Anne prepared us a delicious meal which came with a great conversation. They live in a neat old farmhouse with great character. Like Joanna they also don’t have a television (or one in a main room) and I never missed it. Instead we are spending our evening listening to music and socializing which seems to be the way things should be. I think this was the perfect way to spend our last night on the trail, with people who love the trail and what it is all about. I still can’t believe tomorrow is our last day. What a crazy feeling. I will post more tomorrow about my end thoughts but I better get back to socializing. Then it’s shower and bed time. Goodnight everyone. P.s. Keep the donations coming!!!
Spoiled today by Marie-Anne.
We got our workout in today.
Feeling clean thanks to Clean Life Products No Rinse shower caps.
Last night in the woods.
Our day started out with some amazing trail magic from Marie-Anne. After a few miles on the trail we crossed a road to find her waiting in the parking lot with coffee, water, breakfast rolls, and a sandwich for lunch. She even left a water drop for us a few miles later. Thanks Marie-Anne for surprising us with such delicious magic. The trail today can be summed up in one word: HILLY! Other than the hills we had a nice 18 mile hike. We made it to our planned end point with a bit of daylight left so I guess it was a good day. We’re ‘stealth’ camping tonight so don’t tell anyone ;). Tomorrow is our last full day on the trail and we are excited to be done. We have spent the last few days passing the time by chatting about what we are going to eat and do when we get home. I see baths, sushi, movies, sweat pants, foot soaks, and cuddle time with our pets in our future. I’m excited to be almost done but I’m starting to get sad that this crazy adventure is almost over. Well more of that later. I’m tired. Goodnight everyone.
Big thanks to everyone who donated or helped spread the word. Keep the donations coming. I’d like to exceed to my goal just like this hike has exceeded all my expectations!! 🙂 Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!