Lists are fun, don’t you think? The following is a list of ten things I learned (or already knew but hadn’t realized how super-duper mega important they were) on my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.
1. Cinnamon roll is the best pop-tart flavor, hands down. Sadly, its limited edition status has run its course. R.I.P. cinnamon roll pop-tarts.*
3. Those super shiny, super bright blue berries growing all over New England are not, in fact, blueberries.**
4. Being dry isn’t even real.
5. Don’t use your knife for something your teeth could do better.
6. Self-talk and motivational mantras: not just for hippies!
7. Virginia is not flat.
8. Pennsylvania is not as bad as they say.
9. Strangers are friends you haven’t met yet.***
10. It’s just walking.
*Brown sugar cinnamon is the second best flavor. S’mores and chocolate chip are tied for third. Also, limited edition pop-tarts? How is that even a thing?
**I think they might be eastern black nightshade berries, which are mildly toxic. Can anyone verify this?
***This is only sort of true. Sometimes strangers are assholes or racists or murderers or things like that.
Roker, one of the wonderful dudes I hiked with on the AT, wrote a very funny/poignant post-trail wrap-up on his Appalachian Trials blog. It features the aforementioned list, as well as other sage advice and sad truths gleaned from 4- 5 months on the Appalachian Trail. You can read it HERE. Roker hails from north Georgia, is very tall, and says things like, “what now?” or sometimes, “say what now?” Also, his food bag weighed more than my entire pack which is really quite impressive.