Patrick McVeety-Mill:

Loud & Abrasive

Musings, essays, updates, and trail logs.

  • AT Day 177: Difficult Trail and More Difficult Decisions

    The transition to living on the trail was gradual, from all the expectations of a new adventure, starting like a long backpacking trip, growing to a way of life, then so routine it’s hard to imagine what it was like before. Coming so close to completing the trail is surreal. The time feels short, especially compared to the experience. Many of us are conflicted between a weary eagerness and an anxious fear. But for all of us the end will be a jolt, and an inevitability.

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  • AT Day 159: Return of the Climb

    The way passing time and miles are so bound on the trail is most evident to me at its ends. It was a slow, proud, backwards-looking crawl at the beginning, asking “How far have I gone? Can I survive another day or week?” But has twisted to approaching deadline, “How far do I have to go today? Can I make it by this day, or week?” Hikers are buying bus or plane tickets home, fearing their expiring visas, and watching their faster friends’ summit photos roll by on social media, with 400 miles left to go.

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  • AT Day 140: New Jersey - New York - New England

    Leaving Pennsylvania felt like closing a long chapter of the hike, and crossing into New Jersey turned out to be the start of a series of pleasant surprises.

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  • AT Day 122: And The States Won't Stop (But I Might Here And There)

    The days out of Front Royal passed more quickly than any others thus far. As expected, the handful of familiar folks I had seen through Shenandoah were now ahead of me, or surprisingly behind. Armed with my rover’s resolve and clear landmarks ahead, going came easily, but it took time for me to let go and let the trail take me as its wont, over my own.

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