August 29, 2017
This morning I woke up and had a sorrow feeling creeping around in my stomach.
I quickly pushed it away. No Stop, I don’t want to do this.
I woke up earlier than expected… I get the chance to sleep in and naturally can’t.
Luckily Alex was awake too and we headed down to the local Appalachian Trail cafe.
We ate breakfast, drank coffee, and signed their ceiling tile since we completed the trail. Woodpile, Sasquatch, and Planner all showed up later on.
We had until 9 to pack our bags, get rid of items we no longer needed, and to be ready for our shuttle to board a bus to Bangor, Maine.
We took a bus to Bangor and then hopped onto another bus to Portland, Maine. From here Alex and Planner were to leave to go to a friend of Alex’s lake house and Woodpile and I were to hop on yet another bus to ride to Boston.
Getting plane tickets from Boston was WAY cheaper than a plane ticket from Maine.
Multiple times on the bus I felt the sadness creeping up from my stomach and into my eyes.
They watered up to the brim, teeter tottering back and forth and I had to let out quick breaths to keep them from rolling down my cheek.
Not yet, not yet, not yet. I am not ready yet.
I do not want to do this.
We reached Portland, Maine and I quickly went inside to grab a snack and to emotionally control myself.
There was no long wait. They quickly called us to hop onto the next bus.
I came out and the tears no longer wanted to stay in.
I gave Planner a hug, as tight of a hug as I could with a pack on.
The same to Alex.
Tears started their roll down and I felt the wave of sadness.
It was time to load the bus.
I sat in my seat and had to wipe away the tears as they didn’t want to stay back.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to say bye to Woodpile just yet.
I had about 5 more hours to fully embrace being with him.
We cuddled in our bus seats…as good as cuddling in a bus seat can get..such as me putting my legs over his and his arms around me for most of the ride.
I let myself fall into a light sleep.
We arrived at the airport and encountered all the fun airplane shinanagins and then we grabbed a bite to eat, a beer, and a celebratory shot before we headed down to my gate.
I was leaving at 5:30 and him 7:00.
We sat in the chairs and I kept looking at my watch. It was 5:15 and I could feel them again.
Gah damn it.
The sniffles started to occur as I tried to look away… “My shirt is going to be covered in snot” I said to Woodpile.
We sat together for the remaining few minutes until they called me to the gate.
This was it.
I wanted to stay in his hug forever.
I lined up and kept my head down ducked under my hat. Red rimmed eyes and red nose… I hate this.
I boarded my plane and luckily had a row to myself as there was not many people flying on my flight.
As we took off I let the flood gates go since my noisy sniffling could be drowned out by the plane.
Memories were flashing through my head of this journey.
I am not sure I am ready to be back to the real world.
If anyone was to ask me now what is the worst day on the trail?
I would say the day after summitting Katahdin and saying bye to my tramily.
by far, the worst day of the trail.
We all want to say that we will see each other, and we hope it is true. But life also happens which we all know is also true.
It is the weirdest feeling to spend everyday for months with people, experiencing a grand experience, and then to just up and say bye.
People that don’t just become your friends but your best friend. They end up knowing you better than you know yourself.
I keep trying to remind myself of the Dr. Seuess quote.
“Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.”
And it is true. I have to smile and cry because it was the best thing that has happened to me yet.
The best thing.
I am the luckiest woman alive to be able to experience that world and to meet such incredible people..
What a journey…
I am happy to say the night ended with happy tears.
As I walked from my final plane ride at 11:00 pm I saw heads peeping about.
Familiar faces. All of them.
Balloons and a sign surrounded by my family.
My dear family.
It was an image I had multiple times towards the end of my trip.
I would hike and imagine what it would be like getting off the plane and finally getting to see my family after 5 months and would get emotional while hiking.
It happened just as I imagined…
My wonderful, wonderful family.
All there late on a Tuesday, just to see me come home.
This time it was tears of joy and relief.
I am blessed to be able to say I have such a supportive and loving family.
I am even more blessed with everyone else who supported me along this journey.
Through social media, texts, care packages, you name it… The love was felt and I thank you.
From the bottom of my heart.
Its been a great time and its now time to enter back into the “real world”.. At least for now. 😉
Thank you for reading and following along.. This blog was a blast, an absolute blast to write.
Much, much love to you all.
Brown Sugar ❤️