So September 2nd was the one year anniversary of summiting Katahdin at the end of my hike! I know I’m a little late posting about it here, I’ve had limited internet where I’m currently living (though it’s been sorted out and I plan to start working on this blog much more!).
Though it sort of blows my mind that it has been a year already since the end of my hike, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to thru-hike and to thru-hike vegan. Everyone starts out with different expectations of what they will find on the trail, and it is probably universal that those expectations change after being on trail for a few months (Mix one part romantic dreams of “figuring life out” with one part “back to back to back 20 mile days and my shoulders huurrrrt”).
Pre-hike, my plan to hike vegan had little to do with making a statement and was just a natural extension of being vegan in “real” life and figuring that of course I’d stay vegan while hiking. As I started out and learned of the challenge it was going to be it became more and more important to both maintain my veganism and to share my experiences with others.
As has been written elsewhere so many times, thru-hiking is all mental. After a month or two your body is sore but strong and getting stronger. It’s staying mentally motivated that keeps you going every day. Basically thru-hiking is one big series of many small goals/challenges (the top of the mountain, lunch time, the next landmark to see how far I’ve gone, snack time, the next shelter, dinner time, camp, the next town, the next state line, etc). Serious thru-hikers don’t just give up on one of them, it is the challenge of the whole ordeal that keeps you mentally motivated and going (Any thru-hiker will tell you how long Virginia was and how excited they were to get to Maryland!). For me, adding “staying vegan” on to the list was natural and became a significant and fulfilling part of my experience.
Anyone know if there were vegan thru-hikers in 2010? Send them this way!