I love my new life! Three years ago, both of my children left for college, making me an empty nester, a title that made me cringe. I have always enjoyed hiking and wanted to try more challenging trails than the four mile, 2000 foot elevation gain, I was used to. (Honestly, this four mile hike used to wear me out!) The discovery of hiking along the AT improved my life. I used to have silly misconceptions; like, I’m getting older so my time to climb mountains is limited. Silly me. I’m in my mid-40s and haven’t been able to keep up with many 70+.

Sometimes I fall behind, my legs burn,I pause to slow my breathing, and I ask myself; “Really, this is what you do for fun?”.  Absolutely! One minute I’m laughing so hard and the next I’m speechless with the sight of Maine’s beauty. Most surprising is how proud of myself I am for being able to physically and mentally achieve these great heights. (Wow kids; look at me!)

I have met the most fascinating people along the AT/AT Connector trails. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for those who have allowed me to have these amazing experiences. Thank you to the MATLT, landowners, trail maintenance crews and individuals, fellow hikers, and new friends. All of you have made it possible for people like me to have these incredible experiences.

Hikers are remarkably interesting. Somewhere along the way I came to the realization – I am an empty nester but I’m also a hiker; that makes me very interesting!