Growing up in northern Vermont, the Long Trail was a constant presence in my life. Friends and parents of friends would share their stories of hiking the trail. Looking at the horizon, I could trace its winding path. Like many Vermonters, I am familiar with overnight hiking trips and what the weight of a 40 pound backpack feels like (terrible), but I never considered trying to hike the entire trail. However, this summer I decided to start section hiking the Long Trail. The motivation finally came from Cheryl Stayed’s memoir Wild, which inspired me to contemplate the idea of hiking on my own. After a lot of research and consulting with Carol Irish, who celebrated her 50th birthday by thru-hiking the trail solo, I have set out to section hike the Long Trail.
Between traveling around New England for photo shoots, I carved out a few days this fall to start the journey. It has been fantastic. On my first overnight, I watched the supermoon lunar eclipse from a mountainside, with only the sound of rustling leaves to keep me company. I met incredibly warm, funny and genuine people on the trail – one of whom shared Whistlepig Rye Whiskey with me, wow was that a great moment – and found myself enjoying Vermont in a new way. Separated from technology and hiking on my own, I remembered a feeling often lost in our modern world, the feeling of your own physical vulnerability to the weather and terrain. The feeling of recognizing how small you are and how unfathomably beautiful and grand our natural world is.
Only 254.4 miles to go.
Of course, I can’t resist documenting my experience and taking a few portraits along the way. Big thank you to Yellow Toes, Creep, Twisted, Spoon, Erika, Esther, Nettles, Jena, Dale, and Matthew. Click here to view the full gallery from my travels.
Total Miles Hiked 31.5 // Total Long Trail Hiked 17.5 // Miles to go 254.5