The trail is many things. Quiet nature, dirty hikers, good times with good people, trail magic, bacon cheeseburgers.
But mostly it’s walking in the woods. I am pretty consistently 2mph, so 16 miles is almost always 8 hours of walking, not including breaks.
It’s called the green tunnel because now that the leaves are here, you are in the aghast forest basically all day. From time to time you get a view from the ridge and rarely you get a walk through a grassy meadow.
The trail is frequently a maze of rocks and roots, forcing you to watch your feet all day.
The diet is atrocious: candy bars and pasta and rice krispy treats, cliff bars.
I thought there would bee more “walk and talks”, as I call them, chatting with hikers as you walk. But the days are really quiet. Shelters are fun, social evenings, depending on the crowd.
I was surprised to run out of things to think about a long time ago.
So I have decided to switch things up.
A week from today (Monday), I am jumping on plane to Paris, getting a train to the north of Spain, and after a visit with a friend, spending two months walking north to the English Channel.
The landscape will be interesting, good food, carrying less stuff, lots of history, etc. It will be more challenging language wise, navigation wise and logistically. Plus I love it over there.
The plan now is to walk north in Spain on the Camino del norte into France and then walk the GR trails up to Normandy. The GR system is the national trail routes in Europe.
It will be about another 600 miles or so, depending on my route.
So, we will see how it goes. It’s kind of a bummer not to be completing the AT, not getting that photo by the sign, but it will make for a more interesting walk. I will miss my fellow hikers. Should be a bon voyage.GR Trail Map