Halfway Point on Hiking All of the Trails in The White Mountains
I started this journey at the New Hampshire/Canadian border on June 19, 2022 as a gentle mist fell and the trees swayed in the wind. I started this journey knowing that it would be the most difficult and beautiful thing I’ve done. On April 5, 2023, I watched as my completion reached 50.1%, a number that I never thought I would see. Heck, I didn’t think I’d get past day thirty-four again. When I started this hiking project I never knew how hard it would be or how much it would require me to push myself out of my own comfort zone. But more than that, I didn’t know how much I was living within my comfort zone until I started having to push myself out of it.
There is such a huge difference between making unsafe choices and living within your own comfort zone and that is what this project is showing me. The difference between being unsafe and being uncomfortable.
I’ve never been an athlete, I’ve always been much more comfortable behind a computer or reading a book. My body isn’t naturally built for speed or strength. But I’ve learned through this hiking project that I can make my body strong if I try hard enough. I can train myself into an athlete. There are those who are naturally gifted and those who have to work for it and I fall in the latter category when it comes to athletics. Everyone can be an athlete if they want it badly enough. I want it bad enough now. I want to be fast and strong and able to hike longer and faster because I want to be able to see more of the trails.
I’ve spent 115 days hiking 50.1% of the trails and 44 out of 100 of the highest peaks in New England. It has taken me ten months to reach that goal and although no two days are the same in terms of percentage gained or miles complete, I am very aware of what I will be required to do in 4 ½ months to meet my goal. I know that the past ten months are the scrimmage and the game is about to start. I know that while I feel prepared for what this will take, both mentally and physically, nothing can prepare you for what it’s like to really live through something.
But I also know that I am ready to live. I am ready to hike five days a week every week for 4 ½ months. I’m ready to get this party started. No Pain, No Gain, No Trace.
*Overall Miles: 1,176.99
Overall Vert: 342,342’
Trace: 49.8% -> 50.1%
*Not including bonus hikes which there have been a few. Bonus hikes don’t count towards my trace.