When we started the 52 Hike Challenge at the beginning of this year, it almost didn’t even seem possible to complete. Hiking once a week, or twice every weekend off? It just wasn’t going to happen. Half the year here is freezing and snow, we do only have every other weekend off, and there were plenty of other things we wanted to accomplish in the year!
I’m so glad we decided to go for it.
We stepped out on the trail for Hike 1 on January 28th, and we forced a few really cold walks very unprepared so we didn’t fall behind! Throughout the year we learned and grew exponentially, and this really became a way of life, no matter what time of year.
Hike 52 had to be something special, and no better way to complete the challenge than hiking on the Appalachian Trail- a place we’ll someday call home for 2,000 miles and god knows how many days.
Those white blazes always give me chills.
Quick stop at the PA/NJ border to walk across the bridge we’ve seen in so many AT photos:
Then back to the Mohican Outdoor Center, where we’d hiked southbound before and now took the trail north: which we’d avoided last time because it went straight uphill, and took this time because it was new and may or may not have a fire tower somewhere up ahead.
It had been pouring rain when we hit the road, and for much of our drive, but the skies were clear and sunny as we set foot on the trail, and the fall colors were in bright display.
Vista after vista kept our pace slow! Breathtaking views. Our goal for the day was not distance though, but time, and we took all of it we wanted taking everything in.
No place I’d rather be.
Nearly stepped on this little guy on the trail! Real sluggish when we picked him up to move him but he perked right up after a moment and burrowed into the safety of the leaves off trail where we put him. Adorable.
There was indeed a fire tower: Catfish Tower, and the views from up top were just breathtaking!
52 Hike Challenge complete!!
Have to include: On the drive home we passed a paddock, and of course strained to catch a glimpse of what was inside. We were met with the view of a giant fluffy white butt, attached to this beautiful creature: