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Journey to the Continental Divide Trail

Today, March 7th, 2024, I cease to be a teacher. Again.

The first time this happened was much more unpredictable. I was finishing up my first year of teaching, virtually, in June of 2020, a few months after I had put in my resignation in order to move out of state. Had I waited only 3 weeks to resign, I would have known that moving was no longer an option, and COVID was going to keep me in Ohio a little longer. I found myself working a series of odd jobs to compensate for my newfound unemployment, and I was utterly confused about what to do with my time. Of course, this led me to the decision to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, and my life was forever changed.

You know I can't resist an opportunity to brag about this moment!

This time, I've planned for my unemployment for a long time. Over a year, really. Since November of 2022, when my friend, Katie, asked me if I wanted to hike the Continental Divide Trail with her in 2024. I said no. About 10 minutes later, I changed my mind.

This past school year has been difficult, as school years tend to be, but it's also been full of wonderful moments. Perhaps my favorite day, despite being one of the most challenging, was the day I told my students I was leaving to hike the CDT. Even though most of my students grew up (or at least have spent substantial amounts of their childhood) in Colorado, the mountains have been largely inaccessible to them, whether through financial or educational barriers. I loved seeing the curiosity and joy and interest and amazement in their eyes as I showed them pictures from the Colorado Trail and let them examine my gear. I hope that even a small percentage of them realized that being in the mountains is an option for them.

one of my favorite early morning views on the Colorado Trail

Today was my last day with students. My resignation takes effect tomorrow. That means there's no turning back. I begin the Continental Divide Trail in under 50 days.

Despite not being particularly career-driven, I am a little confused about how to make introductions without including my job title, which no longer exists. What I know is that my favorite title is "thru-hiker," and I'll get to call myself that again in just a few short weeks.

As always, it would mean the world to me if you would follow along and experience the hike through my eyes. I will continue my day-by-day blogs here, and I will also be posting occasional ponderings and updates on a thru-hiking blog conglomerate called The Trek. This is my most recent post there, and you're welcome to subscribe to my updates there as well!

Much love and appreciation,

~ Wrong Way ~


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