The planning, strategizing and worrying parts of me were so loud this morning that I hardly knew I began. As progress was being made and several mountains climbed, I began to relax into the hike. Then this afternoon, I shocked myself when I realized I was seeing my first tree. Silly maybe but sadly true.

Day One also began with excitement as I found a trail buddy.  We started together and began connecting around our experience on the trail then about our lives while politics was respectfully off the table. But even though we had a similar goal of reaching Mt. Katahdin, he kept leaving the trail to look at stuff. He was also interested in staying at the next shelter only 6 miles away.  Question: “do I serve the parts of me that foster connection or those that serve my mission to complete the hike”?  When he said: I’m going to check out that graveyard, I said I’m going to keep hiking. Though I left him a trail message, I don’t expect to see him again.  So I pushed on another 7 hours total and so now I’m at mile 16 Gooch Mountain.