A 10 Year Dream: Why I’m Hiking the AT
When I was young, I remember my mom telling stories of her great post-graduate adventure through a mountain range out east called the Appalachians. 10 year-old me loved listening to her elaborate on everything “Appalachian Trail”. Scary poems at graveyards, torrential downpours, summiting great peaks- her tales covered them all. When she tells these stories now, a certain youthfulness returns to her; a sense of being alive. I can only imagine that this energy is derived from the nature she encountered over that period of time.
She inspired me.
And honestly, I’ve never thought that I was going to do anything else after I graduated college because of that.
So, consequently, here I am about to spend 5 months in the woods.
I’ve spent the past 4 months researching tents, testing weird dried food in my little MSR pocket rocket, and talking nearly nonstop about everything that I hope this journey will be (apologies to my housemates for the latter two). My backpacking experience includes some weekends with my dad through the Montana Rockies, which, if I’m being honest, consisted more of huckleberry picking and fly fishing than they did hiking.
Despite my lack of variety in conversation and filling my house with odd smells, I’ve received an incredible amount of support from my friends and family. I can’t imagine doing this without all of them behind me.
As a tribute to everyone out there who has given me anything from words of encouragement to my Big Agnes tent, I suppose you deserve an answer to why I am doing this. So without further adieu,
Why I am Hiking the Appalachian Trail:
- I love the outdoors. Truly, LOVE them. I can’t explain how much happier I am when I get to be outside. I know that Maine’s black flies and Pennsylvania’s rocks will pose a definite challenge, but regardless, I am almost positive that I’ll be happier.
- Challenges are thrilling to me.
- I crave the idea of stepping up my physical and mental game.
- With everything going on in the world- politically, socially, technologically- I don’t think it would hurt to take time for some fresh air, literally.
- I want to prove to myself that I can.
- My mom has convinced me that this time in her life guided her to where she is now, so maybe it will do the same for me.
Hopefully come October I will reach Springer Mountain, with a smile and maybe some celebratory champagne, but for now I’m ready to go walk for a while.
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