Writing this transition is as difficult (if not more so) than the transition we are currently going through. The transition back to "regular" after almost an entire year of "irregularity."
We had many ideas on how to begin this paragraph, this post. We began by talking about the steps across the country we have taken for the past 9+ months, but those were quickly swept away by our delete bar. As they have already been swept away and forgotten by the land, deleted as if they too never had existed.
It was too fleeting, too momentary, too forgotten, too foreign. An impossible task to quantify what 34,861,200 feet feel like, impossible to define what 13,205,000 steps taste like. Impossible to describe in the millions of steps the billions of thoughts, feelings, and emotions that were exponential in every second, and continue to this very word entered upon our keyboard to reproduce and grow at a magnitude that numbers can no longer quantify.
Beginning at the top left: Florida Trail Southern Terminus & FT Northern Terminus
Potomac Heritage Trail ST & PHT Northern Terminus
New England Trail ST & NET Northern Terminus
North Country Trail Eastern Terminus & North Country Trail Western Terminus.
No matter how we try to describe this, we will always fall incredibly short and inadequate. Thus, as we begin this transition we are left at a loss for words, a loss of sense in description, a loss inside an absence of totality, simply we are at a loss.
Trying to describe the completion of multiple long distance hikes of this magnitude inside of less than a year makes us pause constantly. Never before as we have began to write has our keyboard remained so silent for such long spans of time. We begin one sentence, and then stop, as we take stock of our surroundings and are lost within an overwhelming presence of mind. A presence of mind that takes us far from the present.
Writing each sentence becomes a herculean task akin to writing an entire story. An entire paragraph a humorous figment of our imagination, a taunting out of reach futile attempt. An entire post? An world where time has lost all meaning. An inaccessible, unattainable, and hopeless dream.
Yet, we still persist. We have to. With each space, word, return key wrought upon our keyboard, we become one step closer to.... honestly, we do not know. Akin to the life we lived on trail this year, each step is one more step. It's closer to something, and for now that is all that matters. Whatever that something is, well that definition is to be seen. So, let us stop trying to define it all at once, and let us just take another step.
We have officially finished hiking season 2021. The Florida Trail, The Potomac Heritage Trail, the New England Trail, and the North Country Trail. We began on February 1st, 2021 an ended on November 3rd, 2021.
Much love to the one and only, "Hardy", for being crazy and awesome enough to step off the Florida Trail miles together!
It seems stats are all we are currently capable of, the creativity of our minds reduced to a dulling boredom of numbers and facts upon a page. If we stray too far outside of these bounds and let our thoughts drift we quickly are consumed. Consumption of a magnitude that if we fall back into, we do not foresee an exit. Let it be stats for now.
February 1st - March 13th
1120.8 Total Miles
7 Nero Days
1 Zero Day
Mile Average: 27.33
Mile Average Without Zeros: 28.02
Mile Average Without Neros & Zeros: 33.9
Potomac Heritage Trail
March 17th - March 30th
423.6 Total Miles
2 Nero Days
2 Zero Days
Mile Average: 30.25
Mile Average Without Zeros: 35.3
Mile Average Without Neros and Zeros: 42.36
New England Trail
April 3rd - April 10th
224.7 Total Miles
1 Nero Day
0 Zero Days
Mile Average: 28.08
Mile Average Without Zero's: 28.08
Mile Average Without Nero's and Zero's: 32.1
North Country Trail
May 1st - November 3rd
4833.4 Total Miles
31 Nero Days
12 Zero Days
Mile Average: 25.84
Mile Average Without Zero's: 27.61
Mile Average Without Nero's and Zero's: 33.56
Stats. Stats are safe. Stats don't have feelings. Stats don't have emotions. Stats are stats.
Let us for now hint at the unpacking of each of these trails, and in a broader sense the totality of this year with future posts that let us tell the story as it progressed, evolved, and was felt. As we sought after our goal of thru-hiking all 11 National Scenic Trails in the United States, and to the best of our knowledge becoming the 1st person to accomplish and complete this task. Fulfilling our companies namesake.
The trails made us and continue to shape us.
Yet, the depth of that story is again delayed, for multiple posts and multiple stories, for another time. For now let us quickly move on before the keyboard clicks catch up to our brain and once again become paused, strained, broken, and a silence so powerful we become lost.
This post is meant to be a transition for us as well as you from our "on-trail" hiking year to our "off-trail" hiking year. Announcements, expectations, and schedules set and agreed upon between us all. Let us once again find safety in our stats, our announcements.
First and foremost, if you have not seen our new production and partnership with Legend, as well as all our current gear available, be sure to check that out in our store by clicking HERE.
Secondly, ElevenSkys soon will be coming out with weekly videos on our own channel, where you will be able to view a complete, compact, and visual guide to the entirety of the North Country Trail. In conjunction with the NCTA, we hope to create an accessible resource for any day hiker, section hiker, and thru-hiker that chooses to experience the beauty and incredibly special trail that is the NCT. These videos can be found by clicking, HERE.
Don't forget to subscribe on the video channel to get weekly updates and new videos.
Third, our founder and his partner soon will be releasing a newly produced podcast. One that shines light on any and all hikers. A platform where the diversity that makes the outdoors wonderful is spotlighted in the guests themselves. Questions, stories, and humor unlike any other outdoor podcast currently available. Stories that unfold the very fabric of what it means to be and live a life "off-trail" in order to live a life "on-trail." Stay tune for details.
Fourth, ElevenSkys will once again resume its "Regularly Scheduled Programming."
With bi-weekly blog posts every Tuesday and Saturday. Stories that let you dive into the mind of a thru-hiker, stories from the trail, stories from the outdoor industry - simply put, stories with a purpose. Whether that purpose is to entertain, educate, or alleviate, that is always up to you.
Included within this, make sure to follow us over on Instagram @ElevenSkys to stay in the know with frequent product updates, musings from creators, and future collaborations that continue to make us the standard for wonderfully weird in the outdoor industry.
Fifth, ElevenSkys will be resuming Hiker Consultations, effective immediately. If you wish to schedule a meeting with our founder, Constantine, we now have the ability to walk you through planning for any and all of the USA's 11 National Scenic Trails. You can find this option and schedule a time, by clicking HERE.
This concludes our stats section of our post. These are the most immediate changes and updates in our future, we have many more in store for you this upcoming season, but for now, we shall leave you with this.
Virginia may be for lovers...
But, ElevenSkys is for the wonderfully, beautifully, amazingly, honestly, humanely...weird!
ElevenSkys is back. Back inside of our "Regularly Scheduled Programming."
We can confidently say within that statement we are scheduled and programmed, yet the regular section, well if that was not lost long ago, it certainly has been by now.
We are far from regular, and we embrace our irregularity and all the beautiful irregularities that make up this wonderful community that is the outdoors. To be irregular is to find meaning, find laughter, and find love. To stand apart in standing together in the irregularity, well that is ElevenSkys.
Back to our "Irregular Scheduled Programming..."