Mornings - Waking up to the sounds of birds chirping, the cool morning breeze, and the angle at which the sunbeams peak through the trees make it hard not to love mornings on the AT. The first few hours of hiking are always my favorite.
Simplicity - When all of your possessions fit into one bag and your only job is to walk, life is just less complicated. With less material clutter comes less mental clutter, and we are able to think and reflect more clearly than ever out here.
Sense of Accomplishment - A beautiful view, a hot meal, or a hot shower is even more amazing when you know you worked your butt off for it. Crossing a state line or knocking off another hundred miles feels pretty darn good too.
No Dietary Restrictions - Whenever we go to town, we go to a restaurant. Wait, reverse that. Boom. That's right. We can eat whatever we want and however much of it we want without sacrificing our girlish figures. I'm talking multiple pounds of M&M's a week here, people. Speaking of people...
People - Not only were we not expecting the overwhelming kindness of everyone involved in the trail community (hostel owners, shuttle drivers, trail angels, etc.), but we weren't expecting to make so many friends on the trail. We've met many people that I hope we can stay close with even after the trail is over.
QT - (That stands for quality time. I'm down with most of the hip abbreviations. Laugh out loudly.) If you'll allow me to get all sentimental up in here, my favorite part of the whole AT is unlimited quality time with Bearcub. Certain days when I seem to be overly focused on the hard parts of the trip, she always puts a smile on my face. Alright, alright...I'll stop now before I trigger your gag reflex. Just be glad I didn't make a QT with my QT pun. Oops.
Okay, trail gods. Take that good karma and use it to flatten a mountain or two.