I could do the usual thing by describing the weather, topography and sights that greeted us that day, but we all know that on this day, and this day only, the focus was on one thing. It’s hard to explain the emotions that accompany the end of such a 6 month journey. It’s a complete mixed bag of excitement, pride, anxiety, fear and sadness. For 6 months we have put one foot in front the other along a continuous path. That 6ft wide 2,653 mile long path had become home. Each day we relied on it to bring us joy, test us like nothing ever has, bring us new horizons and vistas, and to keep us safe by providing shelter and water. Not only was it home, but all the wonderful people we had met along the way made it a community. Each hiker we met, whether it was for a brief or extended time, cast their mark on our experience. Their inspirational stories, open minds, beaming smiles, and stinky stinky bodies accompanied us along the way and the friendships we made will forever hold dear. To all those absolute heroes, we thank you.
As we stood before the monument tears began to fill my eyes as I acknowledged all the incredible memories this trail had given us. It had brought us to some ecstatic highs and some crippling lows. At times we just wanted to leave it all behind and seek the comforts of home, but now all we carry with us is an immense self pride that will never be diminished. As I said, it is hard to put down in words the enormity of such an occasion.
All that we hope is that our story along the way can somehow give you an understanding of what it is to become hiker trash and live this wild and incredible life and maybe, just maybe, inspire you to grab your boots, snacks and a tent, and head out into this wide and beautiful world in search of your own. Thank you all for the support and for following us along this trail which, surprisingly, concluded with relatively few errors.
Lots of love, Spook & Duckie.