So, now that the section is finished, I’m thinking back about it all. 🤔
But first some final stats:
- Daleville, VA to Damascus, VA
- 259.2 miles
- 23 days
- Avg daily miles 11.3
I have now completed:
- Port Clinton, Pa (1,219.2) to Damascus, VA (470.6) – 748.7
- Hanover, NH (1,749.8) to Great Barrington, MA (1,522.8) – 227.0
- Total distance ~ 975 miles
My reasons for hiking served me well. Especially when I had those moments when I said to myself, “What in the hell am I doing out here?”
- Spiritual: There were numerous times when I saw the hand of God; whether it was on a mountain top, in the other hikers or in the thousands of fireflies 💡 at the Quarterway Inn.
- Challenge: I challenged myself every day. Most of all, I’m ecstatic that I completed my goal on time and without injury. (Actually a day early and with one small blister.) 🦶
- Outdoors: Yes, I spent weeks outdoors. Even more importantly, I’m going to appreciate the indoors! 🛏
- Rest: I had a great break from the rat race. Unfortunately, I’m turning my work e-mail back on today. (300+ to read!) 🐀
- Exercise: No comment here; just look at the before & after pictures below. 👀
And that’s a great reason to hike! SCORE!
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
© Max Ehrmann 1927