3b. Mansion of Many Rooms

Despite a heat wave, insect attacks, and shoe failure, my distance hiking style finally took form. In New Jersey, my pace improved by a half-mile per hour. The flatter terrain of the mid-Atlantic states certainly helped.

The diversity of experiences made me realize that the great cathedral of the outdoors has many rooms, indeed. As the rhythm of the daily routine took hold, I began covering marathon distances daily. Again I courted exhaustion, occasionally hitting the wall.

The “idea” began to occur that something healthy was happening in my body after three or four hours of exercise, something that promoted healing and recovery from injury. Once I attained this state of thru-hiker mode, I maintained continuity for as long as possible, limiting stops to five minutes or less.

This distance-hiking activity was certainly taking me a long way from home.