One month in: thoughts and observations

April has just flown by, but has taken forever to do it. We've been out here for 29 days now. A lot of days run together. I mean it is walking in the woods everyday. It can be a little monotonous. But I have so many great memories and stories through just the first 350 miles. I know the next 1850 will be even better. 

Walking through the woods everyday gives you more time to think, reflect, and observe than you know what to do with. Here are just a few things that I have noticed in my new mountain life.  

The sound of cars makes me hungry.  

For living in the woods, I haven't pooped in the forest nearly as much as I thought I would. There are lots of privies, hostels, random establishments along the trail. Kind of disappointing.  

Through the Smokies, the Appalachian Trail is literally the state line between Tennessee and North Carolina. It is pretty cool . Depending on how I'm feeling at the moment, I can either step off to the left and pee in Tennessee or turn right and go in North Carolina. If I'm really aggressive I can try to pee from one state to another.  

After the Smokies the trail wanders in and out of the two states. It is weird to not know what state you are in for days on end. I mean waking up in another state after a long night is one thing. After a short hazy moment, you can figure out what state you are in at least. Not the case out here.  

Fall is not the only colorful time of year. Spring in the mountains is really beautiful. The leaves paint the mountains all kinds of colors ranging from light green to red to white to yellow to orange to forest green. 

Sound travels far in the mountains. A good thunderstorm is amazing to listen to while dry in your tent.  

Communication is done old school. You can't text, snap, Instagram, Facebook, or call anyone while you are in the mountains. The best communication is done through handwritten notes in shelter logs.  

Staying connected with the world is impossible. Every time I get into a town and check Facebook or the news I have no idea what anyone is talking about. I'm sure I've missed at least two socials fads already. I'm okay with that.  

My underpants radius has increased dramatically. In Franklin, NC, I did all my shopping at a dollar general wearing only long john bottoms, a half zipped fleece, and sandals. 

Eating M&M's in the rain turns your hands all kinds of cool colors. 

I know. Really deep stuff in the first 350 miles. There will be plenty more where that came from. Don't worry.  

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