Sorry For The Cliffhanger, Thanks For The Support

Dear reader,

First, I must say “sorry, but not sorry” for the cliffhanger. The opportunity was too perfect to pass us. I love a bit of drama (actually, I hate drama), and this whole getting stuck in the mud business ached to be used for mischief. Who am I to deny the universe its sick pleasures? However, don’t worry, you’ll get the story, eventually, which brings me to my next point…

Katahdin blends into the clouds on the horizon , yet my memories of the summit still loom large in my brain.

I will not be posting my daily logs from the northern portion of the ECT until the hiking is finished. After thinking long and hard about it, I’ve decided to take a break from the commitment of posting consistently. I’m proud that I was able to keep it up for the AT, but finding time for uploading and scheduling is a burden that I no longer wish to bear. I need a break. One thing I learned while hiking and blogging from the CDT is that it is impossible to balance those tasks with other essentials, especially while hiking with a partner. All aspects of my life suffer when I am pulled in too many directions, and the toppling balance is not something that I’m eager to relive. Both the land and SpiceRack deserve my presence as we hike north to Gaspé, and my body deserves the sleep and rest it needs each day. The blog posts will start flowing again sometime in late July, once we’re reunited with Tango and I’m living in the van while SpiceRack hikes south on the AT. I appreciate your understanding and patience.

Yep, that’s Canada. They let us in! #spicepic

But briefly, I write this from a motel room in New Brunswick after a long day of road walking on stumpy feet. Spice and I are over 200 miles in to the IAT, and have left Maine behind as we speed north towards Quebec. It has rained more days than not, the mosquitoes have been worse than either of us have ever seen, and the trail is almost all road or dirt road. However, despite the multitude of itches and our shredded feet, I’m pretty sure that we’re having a good time. This northern land is flat, full of rivers, and lies below an endless sky that gives Montana a run for its money. Also, the Subway sandwiches are superior in Canada, as are the potato chip flavors. As a result, I’ve finished a big bag of chips five days in a row now, and I’m approaching the bottom of the next. The IAT so far has been drastically different from the AT, and I love it for all its quirks. I also love having Spice with me again on another international adventure. With English rapidly giving way to French, I’m going to need her patience with this strange language and her smile to smooth over any misunderstandings. The journey north is going strong, and I look forward to sharing it with you all.

All dressed chips. Canada’s favorite flavor. My favorite flavor. #spicepic

Last but not least, a huge thank you to anyone and everyone who has followed the journey, commented, stopped by anonymously, sent good vibes, or supported me in any way, shape, or form. I am grateful to you all. Unfortunately, I have been operating at a significant time deficit, and so have not even come close to responding to comments and following up with those who reach out directly, but I read everything that comes my way, often when I’m actually on trail taking a break or trying to mellow out for a few minutes before dinner. The overwhelming positivity has been staggering and humbling. It sucks sometimes for sure, but writing about and sharing these adventures is something that I truly enjoy doing, and it fills me with all the warm fuzzy feelings knowing that others find joy, inspiration, or whatever in the words that I love creating. I find that the writing process helps me see and feel more, and so helps me understand and remember. Having an audience keeps me focused and committed to this reflection, and for that I am grateful because I inevitably discover more about myself when I attempt to put my feelings and experiences into words. Especially when I am exhausted and sleepy. That’s when my barriers are softest, and my truth closest to the surface. Growth isn’t in the adventure, it is in the reflection of the adventure.

Smooooth. Definitely not on the AT anymore.

So yeah, sorry for the wait, and thanks for the support. I appreciate you and can’t wait to share the rest of this adventure.

And since I haven’t said burrito in a while… Burrito!

Peace,
Owen, AtHome, Threeve

29 thoughts on “Sorry For The Cliffhanger, Thanks For The Support

  1. Enjoy you the walk, company, the land, energy, and much much more! Our spirits hike with you!

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  2. Owen,

    I have followed your well-reported, rapid trip up the AT avidly, enjoying each post. The post’s from the Whites were of special interest; having lived with in New England since ‘82 and finished the 4,000 footers in ‘88. The hike from Galehead Hut up South Twin is one of the hardest stretches in the Whites (and going the reverse way in the rain was worse!). Thanks for sharing the story of your trek and best to you and Spice on the next chapter.

    Charles

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  3. Owen,

    Thank you so much for the wonderful writings. It has truly been inspirational. Your work/life balance is also spot on. Stay even and enjoy your next adventures.

    Take care and best of luck.

    Burrito

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  4. Congratulations! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following your adventure especially as my son is only a few weeks behind you. He just crossed the Whites and it was fun to go back and read your past posts and know in advance what he was about to experience (and give him some tips). On the other hand he’s headed into the Mahoosuc range and based on your posts I’m worried for him! Best of luck in the next stage of your journey.

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  5. Well done Owen. As far as I am concerned, no apology necessary. I applaud you efforts to keep up the blog, to faithfully describe places I may never visit. I smiled when you mentioned places I had put a foot on. Enjoy your journey in Canada, post up when you can. Best of trail luck to you and SpiceRack. Trek on Brother

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  6. You should write a book…wait a minute, you already have!
    Have fun with your journey and look forward to your future posts.

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  7. First, CONGRATULATIONS on completion on the AT. Best wishes to you and Spicerack on your journey north on the ITC

    Second, thank you for sharing the adventures along the AT. Every morning over a cup of coffee, we read your posts, looking at the pictures you have posted and tried(now we know) when and how dedicated you were in posting these blogs
    Finally. We are hoping Spicerack will post going south. Who knows we will be driving north to Maine the first week of September and will look for Blackbird and maybe say “hello”. Sunshinepatch

    Last

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  8. Selfishly, we will miss your daily blogs, but you deserve to enjoy the experience for yourself first! You’ve done a fantastic job so far of keeping up with them, but you are wise to pause before it becomes a chore that gets in the way of your experience. Will look forward to catching up with you in July and you know that we are with you in spirit all the way. But WHAT HAPPENED TO THE VAN??!!

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  9. Owen, Congrats again. I look forward to reading about the IAT when you finish. I completely understand why you are postponing your writing and publishing. Enjoy the hike. Remember, these are the good old days. My best to you and Spice. One last thing about Mosquito repellant. I combine 100% Deet with Baby Oil. The oil slows down the evaporation of the Deet in hot weather and any bug landing on your oil-soaked skin is messed up real good.

    Cheers!

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  10. Voyages en toute securite a vous deux .

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  11. Owen,
    Congratulations on the AT completion! I’ve enjoyed being one of those anonymously along for trek. The desciptive words that flow from you paint incredibly realistic pictures; your life observations are so damn profound.
    As much as I am eager to read about your current adventure, I’m going to take advantage of your break to get to know you a bit better by reading your musings of some of your past treks.
    Carpe diem.

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  12. Thanks for your amazing writing, such wonderful content is complemented by your literary skills. I don’t know if I’ll ever do the AT or any other thru hike, but this blog took me there and for that I’m ever grateful. Best wishes for an amazing and safe adventure in Canada, and hope to hear of your adventures as you’re able to share them.

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  13. First things first…Congratulations! Huge accomplishment, your thru hike of the AT, and you should be very proud.
    Second…Thank you for taking us along on the trek. I remain flabbergasted that you not only hiked day after day, all day, week after week, but then somehow found the time, energy and focus to translate your journey into beautiful, thoughtful, enjoyable stories. Every damn day!
    Best wishes on the continued adventure north. Enjoy your time with SpiceRack and happy trails!

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    1. You owe us no apology! You have brought us through on an amazing adventure with insights well beyond your years. I agree that you need to formally publish your writings. As a high school science teacher surrounded by Covid positive students on any given day this spring, I looked forward to the nightly escape as I read your adventures. Keep the faith and good luck to Spice SOBO. Thank you.

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  14. So glad you are on your way north, together. Glad that Arthur and Tango will have fun in Blackbird in the meanwhile. Your journey has been enjoyable to follow. Thank you for sharing.
    Can’t wait to hear about the next one when you get time. Enjoy your travels together.
    Jane (your old neighbor from Burlingame)

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  15. Appreciate you sharing the adventure with us. I’ve looked forward to starting each day with your blog and a good cup of coffee, and will be pulling for you from afar! Your work/life balance is admiral and your writing is none short of impressive. We’ll done, hike safe, and have fun!

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  16. OK,, “I must say “sorry, but not sorry” for the cliffhanger.”
    Yes, you need a break from the blogging and enjoy this time with your partner.
    But do we really need to wait for July to hear what happened with Blackbird and how you both slept with
    “One sleeping pad and one quilt”?

    Happy Trails! We’ll miss your dailies…

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  17. John Rutkowski June 18, 2022 — 8:18 pm

    Well done, congrats. I got a bunch various links them the NOBO season opened, but yours stood out and I have read daily since GA.

    Easier walks are fun. Try Hadrian’s Wall, but there is little public camping.

    Carry on, burrito!

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  18. Again thanks for taking everyone on an adventure. All the best to you. Looking forward to your next chapter of wild and crazy hiking!

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  19. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have so enjoyed following your journey. Reading the other comments I can see that I was not the only one that looked forward to your daily posts. I was always wondering how you could do all that hiking and somehow find the time to document it in such a brilliant way. You are truly gifted. Enjoy the rest of your journey.

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  20. Have a great (ongoing) hike. Be safe and write for us when it works for you.
    Take care and thanks taking us along on the AT.

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  21. Have loved reading your posts – as many have said, don’t know how you did it – enjoy the break and I look forward to hearing how the van fared when you post an update in July.

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  22. No apologies necessary Owen. It has been a great ride.
    Remember, it’s all about the journey, hope you and Spicerack enjoy yours together.

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  23. Congratulations on completing the AT! I hope you enjoy Canada. I don’t know if you are answering questions, but are you doing all the Maritime provinces section of the IAT, PEI and Nova Scotia? I live near the Nova Scotia segment, and part of it goes through my old hometown!

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  24. I have enjoyed reading your posts on the hike 4 days website, and I’m really looking forward to hearing about the rest of the trip North into Canada. Wishing you fair Skies Pleasant winds and good hiking. John Schaefer

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  25. Welcome in Québec and on the IAT-SIA GR1. You will enjoy the diversity of this part of the IAT, and as july will replace june, the bugs will take a break. You will be able to sleep in nice shelters protected from the rain and the bugs. You won’t meet many hikers, but a lot of french speaking people (most are bilingual) and you will be able to eat some “poutine” if you like cheese curds. For having follow all your post since Springer, I am sure you will enjoy the Matane section, in particular the bench on top of Mont Blanc where you will rest after a very steep climb and from where you will be able to see the St Lawrence river. You will enjoy the descent from Mont Nicol Albert (with ropes) and the Ste-Helene Falls. I am sure you will live great emotions once you will reach the “end of the world” at KM 0. Bonne chance.

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  26. So much beauty in your writing. I found myself copying sentences, even snippets, and marveling. “Dang. How does he do it with just those few words?” You saved the best for last.
    “ I inevitably discover more about myself when I attempt to put my feelings and experiences into words. Especially when I am exhausted and sleepy. That’s when my barriers are softest, and my truth closest to the surface. Growth isn’t in the adventure, it is in the reflection of the adventure.”
    (Cue the slow clap. )
    Bravo. Onward.

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  27. Congrats on the Triple! I hope you two have a great adventure on the IAT. I’ve enjoyed following along the past few months but I don’t blame you for taking a break on the writing. I just finished a section from Daleville to the James River Bridge and I thought about how in the world you made time to write all this. Made me have a whole new appreciation for it.

    Also, I’m the Dave that ran into you up on Dragon’s Tooth. I told no less than 3 thru hikers that I got an honorable mention in your blog. I’m famous… I look forward to reading about the IAT once completed. Cheers!

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  28. Owen,
    Congrats on finishing the AT and good luck on the remainder of your trek. Like everyone else, I so enjoyed reading your posts every day, and as one who published a daily journal on two (much shorter) thru-hikes, I have at least an idea of the effort and motivation it took to put those entries together after a hard day of hiking. And for 110 days!!! Best of all, you did it with such clarity, eloquence, and creativity. You raised journaling to an art form, and I was hooked from day 1. (I’m envious of your writing skills.) As an aside, I hiked a 60 mile section in Maine this month, and I was tracking your progress prior to my trip, hoping that I’d cross paths with you. But you were moving too fast, so I missed you by about a week!
    Looking forward to reading about your future adventures and to buying your first book!
    BC

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