Day 30: Check in

Hanover, NH to Happy Hill Shelter, VT – 6 miles

The guy who sold me my first pair of shoes for the Pacific Crest Trail told me that by day thirty on the trail, any pains that are going to develop already have. On the PCT, I found this advice to be true.

On my 30th day of the Appalachian Trail, I am holding up quite well. I am tired and sore at the end of every day, so I sleep deeply and usually feel rested by morning. I have no significant aches or pains.

Getting so much exercise feels good in a way that only other endurance athletes seem to understand. Other hikers have told me they share the same giddiness as I do when I start hiking and the endorphins bathe my brain. Withdrawing from this buzz is probably what causes the post-trail blues that are so common.

Most notably, my resting pulse is down. Trying to fall asleep in Seattle, my pulse was routinely around ninety; tonight it was sixty. I’m feeling healthier and more relaxed out here than I ever did in the city.

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