My original plan for this trip was Maine to Key West. My original plan was to do it with someone else. My original plan was more docile. So it goes.
I don’t think I would have been happy not doing the Canadian portion of the ECT. It would have felt like I missed something. Something I probably wouldn’t go back for as a single trip. Back then I felt the same. Although the original plan to start in Maine would have been easier, it wouldn’t have been what I truly wanted in the end. This trail extends far north beyond that. How could I ignore it? So many trails all so neatly connected to form this grand route down the east coast. How could I break the flow? I couldn’t.
I tried, and I pleaded with myself, “No, this is great, just do it. Canada sucks anyway.” I said, while searching reasons to avoid it. Then a bird, who has flown the distance of the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and most recently the Eastern Continental Trail, unknowingly whistled in my direction the wonders of Quebec, and the International Appalachian Trail. Plans change.
Nothing good ever came from within comfort zones.
In 100 days I’ll be stepping outside of mine. Into a world of moose and caribou, a world of steeply graded trail through lush forests, along Canadian beaches and mountains, down country roads and railroad beds, rivers and streams. A world of walking as a way of life.
A world where miles are kilometers. A world where I’ll need a french translation guide, as something tells me, my Haitian friends from work teaching me creole just isn’t going to cut it. Although, the language is similar.
This first section will guide me through Quebec, New Brunswick, and northern Maine to the Appalachian Trail. A very well known, all American, long distance trail. From here the journey will get easier in a way.
I plan on finishing the 750 mile International Appalachian Trail in a months time. The first big section of this long journey down to the Florida Keys, that is dubbed the Eastern Continental Trail.
What happened to doing this with someone else? I messed up, as I often do. Maybe she’ll hike the PCT. I hope she does.