Lauren and I had a chance to connect by phone on the 18th. There was a tremendously reassuring clarity in her voice. She has hit a rhythm and is easily clearing her 100 mile per week goal. It has been a tough start because many other hikers are not covering as many miles as she is but one of her cohorts Greenbeard (https://thepirategreenbeard.wordpress.com/) has been doing a great job keeping her company and adapting to her schedule.
Many of you know that Lauren and I are drug addicts (as are you). One of the reasons that she sounded so good on the trail is that she has been getting high day after day. Walking in nature, in full sun, fills the body with vitamin D, endorphins, serotonin and dopamine… All the good drugs. Along with my personal favorite, adrenaline, there is little better than filling your body full of incredible hormones and stimulants. Long distance hiking is a fantastic drug dealer.
She has worn through her first pair of shoes, she will likely have 400 miles on the first pair when all done. Food is going well as is the rhythm of her camp selection and logistics. She is avoiding the rowdy shelters and loving the northward progress. It was fantastic to hear from her!