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The Long Trail: Day 16 : Part 2 : 10/6/20 . After a fast and furious resupply and a couple of snacks from a local vegetable stand we were on our way back to trail. With about 4 miles of trail and 1.5 hours of daylight, we booked it to the next shelter. Dave hiked first because I knew he would keep a faster pace and it would push me to move faster. I felt like we were flying while breathing deeply and listening to the rhythmic crunch of leaves underfoot. . At one point, I caught myself thinking “I can’t do this”, “I can’t keep this up” and quickly shut down that train of thought. It certainly wasn’t going to do me any favors. Instead, I dug deep. I looked outside of myself and prayed for friends then spent some time encouraging myself. All in my head, of course, since I could barely breath as we climbed higher and higher. . It took me back to the AT in 2016 when I knew we had about a mile left for the day. One moment that was so profound I’ll never forget it and I’ve relived it many times since. We were on a tough climb at the end of the day outside of Kent, CT. I wanted to lay down and quit right in the middle of the woods. Instead, I reminded myself I’d hiked ONE mile hundreds of times and I could do it again. One mile was so small in comparison to all I’d done, so small yet so significant. So small but each mile added up to make the hundreds and now thousands of miles I’ve hiked over the years. . And on this day, yet again, I reminded myself I COULD do it, that one last mile, one more time. Like so many other days before, I did it, I got to the end of the day and finished something fairly menial. But all together, each day of one mile after the other creates bands of trail and unforgettable memories I’m unbelievably proud of. Isn’t it just this way in life off trail also? Our everyday ordinary moments all band together and create one beautiful story.