Surviving the Pinhoti Trail.

Another trip survived.
Another adventure to tell.

I love backpacking-- the chance to get away, to experience life in it's purest form:
to challenge myself, to learn, to grow.
If you had ask me a couple years back if this is what I saw myself doing years from now, I might have laughed-- I may even have told you that you were nuts.
I never believed in myself to be able to accomplish so many miles in so few days.
It's never that I wouldn't have enjoyed it;
{there's somethings about a challenge that I always love...}
I think it was more that in high-school, even part of college, I never really had an "identity."
I guess I was always one to just blend with the crowd, 
to find interest in what others did and were involved in...
I never really knew what I wanted from life or maybe even what I really enjoyed.

Finding myself has been such a beautiful thing.
I love dogs.
I love working at a coffee shop.
I enjoy being a vegetarian.
I enjoy running.
I enjoy being outdoors...
rock climbing...
I enjoy a good book.
I enjoy being around people.
I enjoy being me.

Maybe it was I just needed someone to believe in me.
To push me.
To make me step outside my comfort zones.
To be an encourager and motivator-- more than babying me or holding my hand,
To just be there.

It's just been on my mind.

Nonetheless, I and 5 other friends hiked the Pinhoti Trail, starting at Adam's Gap--
We arrived in Alabama Monday morning starting @ 6am [after a ten hour car ride with little sleep] & began our hike.

What an adventure. 
We hiked over rocks, Creek beds, and even a few rivers...
Jake hiked with a sprain ankle...
& the rest of us were right behind him with bumps, aches, and bruises.
We fell asleep to the sounds of coyotes howling {though only Kara heard them}, 
& we once again discovered that EVERYTHING taste better when ate on the trail.
We bonded over  books and bathroom breaks.
We completed 43 miles in 4 days {Jake coming in second with 33 miles under his belt in 3 days}
We simply enjoyed what it means to live life & enjoy the blessings God brings through nature.

I think the thing we take away most from our trips is the challenges we face within ourself...
The challenge to take those last few steps even though our bodies ache--
To cross the cold river that is chest deep even though we are already freezing--
To not let the mental aspect overtake our physical capabilities--
To learn to overcome self, even when we feel we can go no further.
To complete the journey.

I plan on sharing our trip a little more in detail over the next couple of days with more details on a day-by-day basis, but I just wanted to share with you what was currently on my heart & mind-- 
Hope you all had a fabulous week!

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