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Thru-hiking is NOT what I expected it to be. I met an older man yesterday, who was sitting on the trail, gazing at the scenery, speaking of its tranquility. We talked a bit & he said how he lives in the mountains & chooses to walk only 7 miles a day. He finds a campsite far off trail & soaks himself into the surroundings. Another thru-hiker & I laughed, WISHING we could be immersing ourselves like that. I mean, we can, but what I’ve learned on the PCT is that it’s very time sensitive. You have to be from point A to point B by a certain time “or else” the weather conditions could possibly kill you if you’re not careful. I have always seen myself as someone who comes to nature when I’m searching for my Self. The idea of taking a walk in the woods or hugging a tree has always helped me reground myself back into stillness. Thru-hiking however, feels more like you have to PUSH yourself to enjoy what’s in front of you. It is THE hardest part of the day to wake up early & think to myself “well, today I’m going to hike over 30 miles… again”. The amount of sleep I get feels non existent, especially when my feet are throbbing throughout the night. But what’s beautiful, is that I’ve learned what I like & don’t like. I LOVE to take my time & sit & read in the forest, maybe go for a nice jog, but when it starts feeling like I “have” to do something, that’s where it feels like the joyfulness disappears. I desire to live like that older man & I know he showed up in my reality to show me that there is always something out there that speaks more resonantly to my soul.