...and 2179 miles later I flew home.
I've been meaning to write a summary of my thru-hike since I got back about 6 months ago, but I found that I can't really do it justice with words or images. Some have tried (read the books As Far as the Eye Can See or the A Walk in the Woods or look at these photos) but you can only truly understand once you are a few months in. A commonality I found amongst all my fellow hikers was that we couldn't really explain it, but we felt compelled to do this. The trail called us there. A thru-hike may not be for everyone, but it was definitely for me.
My reasons for walking through the woods for five and a half months were varied... I wanted to challenge myself physically and technically, I wanted to clear my mind, I wanted an adventure, I wanted to know what is truly essential, I wanted to discover more about myself and this planet, I wanted to raise money for Abby and awareness of Mitochondrial Disease, and I wanted a fresh beginning... to hit the reset button on life. I achieved all this and more (like growing an epic beard).
Now that I'm back in the "real world" I feel I have a sharper focus on life. In the six months since I returned I've changed jobs, moved into my own place, met new friends, and even implemented an idea or two. Stripping down to the bare necessities of life gives you a greater understanding of what is truly important. I understand the power of taking one step at a time. I know I have the patience, determination, and support to accomplish anything I dream.
I want to thank everyone for the support I received. I don't think I would have made it without: My parents who traveled thousands of miles to help me. My friends who joined me, left comments on my site and on facebook, and donated to the Fitzpatrick family. My fellow hikers I met along the way. All the countless trail angels who provided food, drink, shelter, and encouragement. And most of all, my incredible dog Kooper, who was my constant companion through it all.
I can hear the calling. What's next? Anyone up for Patagonia? The PCT? Te Araroa?
Obi-Wan & Kooper
We raised $5350 for Abby!
I averaged 13.3 miles per day, over 164 days (Apr 17th - Sep 27th), including 13 zero days.
I spent $4267.30 while I hiked. This does not include buying gear before or flying back home (or loss of income from not working)
This spreadsheet shows where I was every day and where I resupplied.
A compilation of my best photos & videos.
A dump of all my (1000) photos.
Me speaking about my hike at church.
All my trail-journal posts along with a map at onahike.com (I'll have it viewable in oldest to newest post order soon)