I just finished walking nine hundred miles through Quebec, from near the end of the Long Trail in Vermont, up to Forillon National Park (the original “end” of the IAT, on the northeast end of the Gaspe peninsula). It took from the beginning of June till the beginning of October, with three weeks gone for a wedding in the middle, and a whole bunch of learning of the French, donchaknow.
Glorious, glorious trails. I’ve gotta get you folks a map; for the looking at distances hiked, donchaknow. Just to be clear, I’ve walked farther than Frodo and Sam ever did.
So. Anyways. Am finished with Quebec. What do?
Welllllllllllll… 886 miles left of North America. After that, thar do be oceans, and the Arctic. Plots. Always plotting. All of them. All the plots. Much plotting. My decision making on this hike consists of making a bunch of Sparknotes ™ in my head. So here are some recent considerations:
- Carelessly lost my pooper scooper in the woods about 50 miles short of Forillon. Wept. You had two things to consider. How could you forget one of them? That wee titanium trowel has dug holes for me all the way from Alabama, and now it is gone. Forever.
- Got lost on trails twice during the final week. Am tired. Does not usually get lost. ….But obviously did. Twice. Am tired.
- Didn’t get to go over Mont Albert; trails were closed for the season, for the 16 miles over the mountain, when I got back from wedding trip. Insert mild distress. Thus this unbroken line of walking, in addition to 6/10ths of a mile in Tennessee, and a hundred yards in northern Maine, now has a huge gap of sixteen miles in it. Because they closed the trails for winter, and were repairing the local bridge. ALAS AND WOE, ohhhh tragedyyyy.
- Am out of food moneys.
- Winter is coming.
- Have started losing weight for the first time on this hike, and not in a good way. Probably is related to being tired.
- Need boots. Hiked with winter sleeping bag all this year (no regrets.) and am carrying waterproof socks that keep my socks-n-sandal clad feet all warm and cozy, in a pinch. Still, not something fun to hike into big snowing times with. Plus, the soles of my sandals are all flat and slippy from walking 900 miles. Bad for snowwalking. Winter. It comes.
- Am out of food money.
- Friends. Are located south.
- Nova Scotia is having their Celtic Colors festival. If I kept going and got through Prince Edward Island in decent time, I’d hit Nova Scotia right in the middle of leaf-changin’ traditional music-playin’ glorious festivity and wholesomeness.
- Am out of money. For food, donchaknow.
- Does not legally work in Canada, earning money.
- Need friends. Am tired. Want friends.
After getting so excited about hiking with Romi (on and off) for five days, earlier this year, I realized it was because she was the first person this entire year I got to hike around for multiple days…. And she remains the only person I got to hike around for multiple days. It is convenient that I have no more money for food; and thus must stop.
*coughcough* earn money for food *cough cough cough*
Get to see humans who make my soul feel pretty ok, alright
cough cough cough cough
Ok. What I mean is this:
After I finished Quebec a couple of weeks ago, now have headed south.
I’m working now. Hitchhiked down to Maine. Good thing food is necessary, and friendship, else I’d still be tired, slogging into Nova Scotia. Wet. There was an entire nor’easter two days ago; I was inside. Not being blowsed about, or rained upon, or worrying about trees falling in the forest and making sounds; not being always cold; always another mountain; gracious heavens is this real life???
Went to dinner with two friends a couple days ago; they asked how it was, adjusting. It hadn’t hit then, because I’d just finished hitching down to my friend Amber’s place. (In the head, hitchhiking feels similar to travelling all over trails.)
But now it’s all crowding back.
On-trail, my priorities are simply to get over the next mountain, as happily as possible and learning all the things in between. (All the things!!!) But here; there’s work- and interacting with humans. Many, many, many more things to consider in life. What do I do? Where do I go? What must prioritize?!?
Heh. Y’all…. Humans are weird.
Keep being your wonderful, wonderfully excellent selves. I will fade into the woodwork for quite a few months, like a grey wood-louse, unless I get really excited about something and have to tell it to you.
Then I will come out, writing madly. Like termites. Somewhat hard to get rid of, though if you transport a colony of black ants to their termite home, you shall instigate insect warfare that continues until one group of the two has perished.
Hum, be good people. Eat good foods. Take care of each other.
P.S. Due to the anxiety that blogging in winter generates, since the police have been dispatched twice and I do not enjoy this, if I get back on trail sooner than March…. You won’t know. If you suspect and have worries, you can either 1) send hot chocolate to provide important calories and warmth, 2) assume appropriate safeguards are in place for the nice flat bike trail across PEI being slippery, 3) pretend I’m jacked and have a beard, or 4) get a tarp and some warm gear, try it out yourself, and send in the results.
Thanks, folks. Keep it real, and be well. Have a truly lovely winter.
Yippee! Hope you enjoyed our spiritual pompoms at the end of the trail! OMG!!! Feeling seriously remiss that we did not realize you were so hungry! You were so upbeat and inspiring on Forillon trail! Would totally have given you our lunch and trail snacks! 🥺 Aloha pumehana. 🌺