Healing In Nature
THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL: A PATHWAY TO RECOVERY FROM SEXUAL VIOLENCE
The man took another drag from the cigarette. He told me he was getting a ride to a hostel in town and asked if I wanted a ride. I politely thanked him for the offer but insisted I keep going. After some time, a couple with foreign accents came up to the wayside. First, a woman said her boyfriend was hiking and was on the way. She explained that she had been walking along the skyline drive because she had hurt her knee, but her boyfriend was hiking the trail. Her boyfriend showed up, and she asked how his hike was, and he asked about hers. She exclaimed she had a lovely walk on the road, saw three bears, and expressed the joys of road walking. She laughed at herself and said she eventually hoped to walk the actual trail as that is why they were there. She took a moment to praise herself, suggesting she was always the one cars stopped for, not her boyfriend. She laughed again. Her personality was captivating. The couple told me they were trying to make it to a campsite a mile up and told me I should also camp there. The man smoking the cigarette got picked up. The couple said their goodbyes and kept hiking. Eventually, I threw my pack over my shoulders and continued on my way as well. After about a mile, I came across the couple I had met at the wayside, an older man and a younger girl, all camping on either side of the trail. The couple greeted me and then pointed out the camping spots still available. I pondered the thought of stopping for the night but energized by the blackberry milkshake and burger; I kept going. Around three miles later, I found a place to call home for the night. I sat on a giant boulder and looked out at the vast wilderness, thankful I was a ways away from civilization. I looked for a proper tree for a bear hang while it was still light out and came back to cook mashed potatoes, chicken, and hot sauce.
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