Finding Your Katahdin

Happy Katahdin Day! It's the 5 year anniversary of M&K's summit of the final mountain in our Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike. It took us 6 months and 6 days to walk 2,174 miles from Georgia to Maine. And even though 10,000 other people have done it, I'm still pretty darn proud of myself for this accomplishment. We started this blog around the time we made the decision to hike the AT. At the time I would have expected to stop writing here long ago, but here we are, 837 posts later.

Ok, so five years later. Life is a bit different. We have a kid. Different careers.  A mortgage. A few more gray hairs. But what has stuck with us is the belief in ourselves that we can do anything we set our minds to. (That both simplifies and complicates life.)

M & K Thru-hike the Appalachian Trail

Back in the day, M & K were not outdoors-y people. Sure we did our fair share of drinking around a bonfire at the River House, but we didn't know how to read topo maps or what kinds of nasty critters need to be filtered out of water. When we took off from Springer Mountain in March of 2006, we had spent  about 3 nights backpacking. Ever. Like many wanna-be AT thru-hikers, we had no idea what we were getting into. In the first picture, our tentative smiles and clean hiking gear tell this story. And boy, you can almost see us straining under the weight of our too-heavy packs.

M & K Thru-hike the Appalachian Trail

Six months later, the smiles have an air of confidence in them that didn't just come from climbing that last peak. We know who we are and what we can do. We know what our limitations are and to give due respect to Mother Nature.


And now what? Same wild beard on M that seems to come and go regardless of whether we are living in the city or woods. And I have some crazy, fuzzy dreads going on these days, no job and a baby on the way. But ever since we climbed up that last peak on the AT, we've been looking for our next Katahdin.

We haven't found it. And it drives us nuts. You can see it in our eyes in the last photo. It's a wanderlust we thought we were supposed to outgrow, but haven't.

Where to next? That's the question that haunts us now. We play around with it at the breakfast table. On weekend camping trips. At the end of the month when we pay our bills and wonder what all this earning and spending is really for. I just googled "window treatments" - my next project. And we're not even sure we want windows.

The problem with learning that you can do anything that you set your mind to, is that it makes it hard to narrow down your options. Everything seems possible. And nothing gets done. Or lots gets done, but you never get where you thought you were going.


Anonymous said...

You guys look beautiful in every picture. And nice little factoid buried in the text there...

k said...

It's a test. Who really reads this?

Anonymous said...

Well I read it all the time and many congratulations. Love to all here and coming, Aunt DC

Anonymous said...

I do! I started reading during your AT hike (I did ~500 miles in '08) and kept you RSSed ever since because I love your writing. Congrats!
Jenny aka Hipster

Anonymous said...

I read it!!!

You are a good writer and I enjoy how you express your point of view.

Congratulations on your 5 year Katahdin anniversary. Mine is tomorrow.

Hope you & M find another "K". Until then...just keep walking north.

Beach Bum

k said...

Thanks! And we had an ultrasound this week. Baby is healthy and it's a boy!

Beach Bum - I feel like I have an internal compass that points me north on any trail. It just feels gooood to walk north. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! A baby boy.

We wish you the best.

Beach Bum & First Wife