Hannah Bacon on the last leg of her march!

The Hardest Part (from today’s POV)

The Hardest Part (from today’s POV)

Hannah Bacon writes on June 2, 2021:

A strangely cold morning in the tent in Tennessee. Photo: Hannah Bacon

Hey friends! It’s been a while… thanks for hanging in there with me! I am two weeks from the finish, and realize I haven’t posted in two months! My lack of posting is partly because I am in a time warp (truly shocked so much time has passed) and partly because I’ve had some serious writer’s block. Today, two months and 1,000 miles since my last post, I forced myself to write and in doing so I’ve dug a little deeper into my writer’s block.

It comes down to this…..I’m tired.

It’s been six months of pavement, under the weight of a pack, through rain, heat, snow and wind. The physical side – plantar fasciitis, shoulder pain, sun poisoning, ticks, chiggers, heat rash, blisters – has really started to catch up with me.

Hannah sitting on railroad tracks.

I have had so many beautiful experiences since Arkansas, but it’s been a challenging two months. In addition to the body aches, getting closer to the east coast has brought some unexpected mental/emotional challenges. The roads I chose through Tennessee and the beginning of Virginia had little shoulder and heavy traffic. The closer I get to the coast, the more populated towns and roads become. The vroom and whoosh of cars passing too close and 18 wheeler’s barreling down winding country roads creates a constant level of stress, and a constant wondering if I’d be able to react quick enough if necessary. I’m always watching the cars, always making quick decisions for safety and always hoping I’ve made the right decisions.

Me at the end of a long day, lips burnt and bleeding.

There are times in each day when the traffic is too loud to hear myself think. I turn up my music to stay sane, but not too loud as to be unsafe. I feel I am both in a little bubble, so alone, with the world zipping past, and also like I am completely on display – a conversation starter for drivers and passengers. It is exhausting to move through the world with this level of exposure. Most of my interactions are brief and surface, but demanding of explanation. There is no anonymity and yet no one who knows me.

This of course has been true since the beginning, and having conversations with folks about climate change is all part of the mission. But after six (going on 7) months, these quick interactions become pretty tiring.

At the end of the day, when I can (mostly) escape the sound of cars and trucks, or at least distance myself from them, when the pack comes off and I can barely move my shoulders, the last thing I have the capacity to do is write anything coherent.

I have had so many incredible experiences these past two months, many of which are worthy of their own blog post. I plan to do much more writing after I finish and look forward to sharing some of the highlights.

If you have reached out to me recently and I haven’t responded, please know it is this same tiredness and strange sense of time getting in my way, not that I don’t appreciate you and your thoughts. I am so grateful for everyone who has been a part of this walk.

Talk to you all after the finish ❤️