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I’ve realized something after a week back on the trail and one thousand plus miles. I’m finally figuring out “what” my hike is.
The mantra out here is “hike your own hike.”
We all give lip service to the phrase, but most of us feel like there are right and wrong ways of executing a thru-hike.
Some feel like having a schedule of where you will go each day and a finishing date is ludicrous, but the schedulers can’t believe there are folks who never look or plan more than one day ahead.
Some people are “purists” and will walk every mile of the white blazed trail that marks this years official AT path.
Others will blue blaze (take trails that divert from the AT; usually cutting off miles or going around difficult sections)….or they will yellow blaze (walk to a road and catch a ride to a different part of the trail)….or even aqua blaze (use a boat, canoe or kayak to paddle around parts of the trail).
I guess what I’ve figured out about “my” hike is that as long as I and my fellow hikers are honest and have a positive attitude about our experiences, what those experiences are comprised of doesn’t really matter.
I have a schedule and can’t divert from the white blaze trail without feeling like I’ve let myself down, but after talking to a group that aqua blazed the Shenandoah, I realize they had a ball and made some of the best memories of their entire trip.
Just because I won’t color outside the lines doesn’t mean others shouldn’t.
When I complete this adventure, if I can look at the “finished product” and feel good and satisfied about what I’ve accomplished, then ‘I’ve hiked my own hike’.

Mickie ‘Mouse’ Admundson is currently hiking (and blogging) her way up the A.T.
To read more of her outdoor adventures, check out her journal
right here.

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