"It's hard but simple. Your life boils down to a routine tightly focused on the basics: food, shelter, health, companionship, and natural beauty. Your only possessions are the few you can tote on your back." p.216
After more than two thousand miles on the trail, you can expect to undergo some personality changes.
A heightened affinity for nature infiltrates your life.
Greater inner peace.
Enhanced self esteem.
A quiet confidence that if I could do that, I can do and should do whatever I really want to do.
More appreciation for what you have and less desire to acquire what you don't.
A childlike zest for living life to the fullest.
A refusal to be embarrassed about having fun.
A renewed faith in the essential goodness of humankind.
And a determination to repay others for the many kindnesses you have received.
(p. 195) "Now is the time to take possession of my life, to start the impossible, a journey to the limits of my aspirations, for the first time to step toward my loveliest dream. If I had only known then what I know now - but now I know enough to begin."
-Hugh Prather, Notes on Love and Courage
p. 181 Harry "the indian" Thomas
first came to the AT in April, 1965 and then left only after 23 years spent mostly on the trail.
Winnebago indian, reservation in Nebraska
"I just thought I'd see what it was like" he said.
when he ran out of money or supplies, he worked odd jobs
p. 136 I am not going to advocate ... the abandoning of the improved modes of travel; but I am going to brag as lustily as I can on behalf of the pedestrian, and show how all the shining angels second and accompany the man who goes afoot, while all the dark spirits are ever looking out for a chance to ride.
The Reward of Nature
If you'll go with me to the mountains
And sleep on the leaf carpeted floors
And enjoy the bigness of nature
And the beauty of all out-of-doors,
You will find your troubles all fading
And feel the Creator was not a man
That made lovely mountains and forests
Which only a Supreme Power can.
When we trust in the Power above
And with the realm of nature hold fast,
We will have a jewel of great price
To brighten our lives till the last.
For the love of nature is healing,
If we will only give it a try
And our reward will be forthcoming,
If we go deeper than what meets the eye.
-Emma "Grandma" Gatewood