Birthday Girl Update

A lot has happened since the last time I updated. 
We finished our senior design project. 

I helped organize a conference for 60 schools and over 800 volunteers, participants, and judges. 

I received an award at school!

I had lots more fun with my friends

And eventually, FINALLY, I graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. 

I had a few more days with my friends in Cookeville, and then I flew up to Philadelphia. 

Ive been spending a few days with my best friend Dr Anna, and then tomorrow it’s off to the trail. 

What in the world am I doing? Well, here’s a brief summary of the next two months:
1. Hike Port Clinton to the Connecticut border (north bound). This will complete Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. Except for 60 pesky miles in Virginia, I’ll have completed the entire AT except for New Hampshire and Maine (that’ll be about 500 miles left). 

2. Go back to Tennessee for my best roommate’s wedding on June 3. 

3. Go up to the northern end of the smokies and hike the Benton Mackaye Trail southbound. This trail is sometimes Old AT trail, sometimes random trail, and is generally at lower elevation than the AT. It will be hot and muggy and miserable, but it’s about 300 miles, so I can thru-hike the trail before 

4. Starting work! I’ll move to Augusta, GA to begin as a real life engineer. Holy cow! 

I’ve been in school working on this engineering degree for 5 years now. It’s hard to believe it’s over. 

I’ve had such an incredible and relaxing time here with Anna; a woman at the bank even asked if I was a celebrity. 

But I’m ready to get started. There are things I’m worried about– my knees have been achy, for one. The lingering foot pain from my winter hike has never gone away. I’m definitely VERY out of shape. 
Given all of these things, and the rocks of Pennsylvania when I start this hike, I’ll be doing low miles for a few days. Probably 10-15 miles a day until I feel like I’ve regained some strength and have a handle on what my foot will do. But I’ve got new insoles and new KT tape to keep it in line, so…fingers crossed! 

Are you ready to follow? I’m excited to get started, and so glad to have all of you following along with me! 

4 thoughts on “Birthday Girl Update

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