Day 17: End of the Trail Road
As we reached the end of the trail road, a series of emotions overwhelmed us. First relief, then hunger, and finally the feeling of appreciation. After hiking downhill for four hours, everyone was elated to see the small bus that would be taking us back to the Linden Center. Our initial feeling was relief. Relief that the physical challenge of three days of hiking was over, and relief that the mental challenge of the hike was over as well. Sure, the physical part was difficult, and tiring, and made us think of all the times we've sat down for 10 minutes, but the main thing that we trained was mental. One needed to be mentally fit, mentally strong, and mentally prepared for the long, two night hike. It was this that changed us the most during this hike, in my perception. The next thing we felt, after everyone was crammed into the small bus, was hunger. With a constant pace of a downwards trek, there wasn't any time to stop and enjoy a small bite from the packed muffins, fruit, and sweet corn. When we were all seated (with Shirley, Mr. T, and I on small stools in the aisle), we reached for anything edible on our stuffed hiking bags. With grimy fingers, we peeled open out granola bars, and took large bites out of the apples and bananas. When the feeling of something in our stomachs, the sensation of appreciation settled in. A comparison of what it was like to live on the mountains for only 2 nights versus what it feels like to live at the Linden Center was running through our heads at a breakneck speed. The things we lacked on the mountains, but took completely for granted in places like LC and SH really stood out. Things such as electricity, light, warm and clean water, a heater, and even a soft place to sleep on were noticeably missing on the trip. Overall, the three day hike was a great eye-opener for us all. It would be difficult to compare the people we are now and the ways we think now to the people we were before.