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M Sunshine Prepares for the Appalachian Trail

by Eric Gjonnes

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Article Summary:

We were often told by past thru-hikers that it is difficult to adjust to town life upon return. They were right! Neither one of us could sleep without the windows open for several weeks. I had a hard time staying asleep in a real bed. I was perpetually sick for the first two months off trail after losing 30 pounds and many essential vitamins and minerals. The only thing keeping us from going stir crazy was the promise of a new trail. I cannot imagine the inner turmoil of those who never have another opportunity to thru-hike. When we were not at work or in school, much of our winter was consumed with preparations for the Appalachian Trail.

Sunshine has absorbed herself with school and violin. In fact, she currently has a 4.0 GPA. I have been working hard in my trade as a journeyman electrician to earn enough for another thru-hike. It gave me a great deal of peace of mind when my last employer emailed me while still on the PCT to let me know that they had a job waiting for me.

I made it a priority to take my youngest daughter, Butterfly on overnight adventures, including hot springs and snowshoeing into nordic shelters. My wonderful wife Teresa spent as much time with Sunshine as her Masters studies and interim teaching position allowed. We have all been so busy, yet feel abundantly blessed.


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