Chapter 5: Waking Up On the Appalachian Trail

Day 12, Monson, Maine: The buildings along Monson, Maine’s humble main street looked as if they’d been milled and raised of local lumber. The rough-hewn surface of the local buildings told a story of a rough-hewn past. The structures served as a relic and reminder of a harder and simpler time.

“You just gotta hike your own hike, man,” he said, leaning against the washing machine. His free hand pushed wavy red hair out of his eyes. “I never adopted a trail name because I never felt I needed to. I’m James, you know. I’m not trying to be anything I’m not. I’m just trying to experience it, you know. All of it.” Lifting a bandana up to his forehead, he tied the ragged corners together behind his head. The tattered red fabric served as a testament to the miles he’d logged on the trail.

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N. B. Hankes

N. B. Hankes

Founder and best selling author of "Waking Up On the Appalachian Trail."
Humboldt County, California