"It's really kind of crazy, to see the kind of lives people have, people I would have probably never ever met — who are here today and gone tomorrow," Acheson said from the road in New York, where he got off the Appalachian Trail. "It's really hitting me over the head."
By Tuesday, Acheson's father — who camped with him, sometimes drove his routes ahead of him and treated him to a couple of hot meals — also met someone new.
"I had the observation that he wasn't asking me any questions, he was telling me things," said Jon Acheson. "It's a little bit more debriefing, than briefing.
"Wow, I hadn't really thought about that …" he said with a chuckle. "He doesn't really need us much anymore."
After a stop at the campus, the teen arrived at his hotel about 5:30 p.m., with sore feet and a heart full of pride, he said — right in time for freshman orientation on Friday (and a much-needed blood test to check for Lyme disease).
"I really hope that this encourages people to take up their own adventure, to just grab life by the whatever," he said. "Just do something crazy."