A Voyage of Ten-Thousand Triumphs
As our launch date draws nigh, so many things are running through my brain. Lately, sleep has eluded me on more than one occasion. The anticipation of leaving everything we know and love is the first mountain we are working to summit and conquer. It appears to some that we are putting our life on hold. But in reality, we are making a huge leap forward in so many ways. What we will gain as we head north, moving through the miles ahead, will far outweigh anything we could have accomplished in our normal daily lives. Chicken and I are definitely looking at this as an opportunity to grow exponentially. Sharing our story with you all makes this journey so much more exciting.
There are very few people that understand how we feel about this. Most can’t even understand why anyone would want to walk 2200 miles. If you add in the fact that we will be leaving the comfort of a nice warm bed to live out of a backpack for months, this may seem like insanity. But insanity is regularly defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If we never choose to step out in faith to face the unknown trusting that God’s got us, then how can we say that we have faith?
If we never get outside of our comfort zone or push through the resistance of our small-mindedness, then we will loose the spark that ignites the fire that burns within us so intensely to be and do something more than what could accomplish within our own ability. Our purpose is to bring forth that which is expected of us. We were not just created to pay taxes and die.
This glorious exploration of epic proportions did not go without prayer and answered prayers. We received confirmation after confirmation. This began months before we went “public” with our plans. We even waited to tell our own family members until it was established within our own hearts and we could confidently say we knew for certain that this was our next step. Doors were opened that we could not have opened ourselves and provisions have been supplied in ways that we could only marvel at. The wisdom that I have received for the preparation of this journey has been accurate and served as another form of comfort, knowing that we are heading in the right direction. However, if at any point we find that we are outside the scope of what is eternally expected of us we will immediately make a change.
This is the culmination of several years of accumulating and testing gear, learning the lingo, and training in the woods. We have repeatedly discussed the “what if’s” and dreamt of an adventure that would be so incredibly amazing that it would change the very essence of who we are inside and out. It has always been a distant, almost storybook, conversation that we truly could not have imagined we would be afforded the opportunity to participate in.
We are now ten and a half days away from our lives changing in possibly the second greatest transformation we have ever experienced. The logistics of the trail are a bit overwhelming. Researching can go for hours and days and weeks and months… and years…
Pinpointing resupply locations and how many miles per day we need to hike and what shelter to stay at, or a hostel, or a hotel, trail towns or forests, and where we’ll need a shuttle and who we will meet and… and… and… There are an endless number of concerns that we could choose to be burdened by. The old adage, “hike you own hike” (HYOH) will just have to apply.
I have diligently studied the 2021 AT Guide night after night, as well as the Guthook app, which provides updates and comments from other hikers and their recent hikes. The biggest concern I have is the snow this year. The higher elevations of Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina have been hammered with snow repeatedly. The Smokies, well they just outright intimidate me. Hopefully, by the time we get to where we must face them most of the colder weather will have moved through for the year. But, it is not out of the question to have snow even into May.
We have continued to follow multiple YouTube hikers who started their hike in January 2021; some of which are trail veterans. It seems that as they enter into the Smokies they are forced to turn around, as the snow accumulation, lack of re-supply options, and inability to make the miles make it too difficult to continue on. Tragically, some have ended their hikes completely.
Some have skipped ahead with the commitment to return and complete that section later.
While yet others, have been brave enough to push through. I pray their reward be a lifetime of the most wonderful memories imaginable and that they all make it to the other side safe and victorious while we watch in envy of their courage and commitment.
Should we get to Fontana Dam and the higher elevations still have deep snow, we will skip the Smokies and come back to complete them after we summit Katahdin. As long as we connect our steps and see every white blaze we don’t mind scrambling it up a bit. Safety first.
I am unsure how often and how great my writing will become after we begin our expedition. The benefit of having a computer to create content will be scarce. Hopefully, we will be able to provide periodical updates and allow you all to take this journey with us, seeing though our eyes, and enjoying each small victory as we embark on a voyage of ten-thousand triumphs!
To God be the Glory~
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