The 3 W’s of the Appalachian Trail. Why, When, What?

If you know anything about the Appalachian Trail then you probably know who ZD is, Right? No? Oh.. well he’s the badass guy who started this site you’re reading this post on and wrote the book “Appalachian Trials”! A guidebook to mentally prepare one to hike the great AT.

Those who have already read the book know and have hopefully created your own 3 W’s. But for those who have yet to fill your noggin with his wise words here are the three lists Zach recommends commands you to make before embarking on your two thousand mile trek.

1. Why?!?!?!

I am Thru- Hiking the Appalachian trail because…

  • I crave a unique adventure. Oh you went on a cruise to the Bahamas? Cool! I just hiked 2,190 miles, so… in your face! (Joking, kinda. I wanna go to the Bahamas too :D)
  • I need a social media detox. Kardashians? Could not care less. Trump signed something you don’t like and you’re gonna march?  Nah, i’ll just hike through the woods alone for two thousand miles. Snapchat has new filters? Big whoop…wait actually I think i’ll check those out. I hope they didn’t get rid of the deer filter!
  • I want to meet new people and make super cool friends who will hopefully go on future hikes/ adventures with me. I love all my friends back home and will miss them but I can’t help but to be so eager to meet people who share my affinity for elf culture…wait what? Sorry I love the movie Elf, but really hope I end this adventure with future hiking buddies!
  • I have the time and saved the funds to do this now. Point blank.
  • I need a little time to really think about my next move. I know i’ll finish my degree but I need to decide what it’s gonna be for.
  • I desperately want to reconnect with God. If you’re religious i’m sure you’ve been here before too. A little lost, lonely and scared. I have never felt more close to God than when i’m looking at his beautiful creations in nature- not even in church. If you aren’t religious, cool beans, I still think there is something deeper that many people feel when they are alone in nature and it’s something everyone should experience.

2. When

When I successfully thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, I will…

  • Be my own Wonder Woman. Literally. I will be a badass!!!
  • Have a freaking awesome story! And the pictures to go with it. Which I will show to everyone when I will brag about it. I think i’ll have earned the right to do so. No more lame “about me” sections on social media sites either 😛
  • Conquer my fears. I legit right now can’t think of anything more terrifying than being the woods… at dark. Gulp.
  • Hopefully have an inkling about what i’ll finally chose for my major. (currently thinking dietician)
  • Have restored faith in humans. If you ask me, people suck. But that could just be the bartender/waitress in me talking. I am so pumped to meet all of my fellow hikers out there, experience trail magic (this is where exceptionally super awesome people give hikers free food, showers, rides, etc.), and just meet genuinely nice people along the way who just wanna hear your story and share theirs. Finally no one asking me for more ranch…five times.

3. What.

Well all those things are cool and all Bethany but, what if you… fail?

If I give up on the Appalachian Trail, I will…

  • Cry. Do you know the story of the girl, who cried a river and drown the whole world? Yeah that’ll be me.
  • Be mad. The word pissed won’t begin to explain the anger I will have towards myself for quitting.
  • Not believe in myself. Probably like every again.
  • Feel so ashamed and embarrassed. I made this FBO (Facebook official), I can’t go back from that.

Too dramatic? Nah. Well maybe. But it has to be!! This ain’t no walk in the park. It’s a 2,190 mile hike through the woods yall. If I don’t finish it’s cause I got eaten by a bear or chased off of McAfee Nob by a moose. (Both so very very unlikely impossible mom!)

So there yall have it. My 3 W’s. If i’m starting to wonder what the hell I got myself into I have this to refer back to and keep the fire under my ass lit.

Let’s do this!

2.13.17 AT Start

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Comments 1

  • Lil'Cub : Feb 13th

    Great points Bethany, I admire your confidence and strong will. Those traits are an inspiration and I wish you much success. Keep in mind that it’s not the destination, but the Journey. After starting my Thru hike attempt in 2914 and again in 2016, I’m going back this year to finish it up no matter what. I don’t blog here but do have a journal on my link is on FB
    May you have a safe journey filled with all that you seek and then some.
    Happy Hiking.
    Lil’ Cub


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