A Week Out and Going Mad!
I’m going to have to say it has been a journey in itself to prepare for the Appalachian Trail. Between all of the packing and unpacking and repacking of my bag; getting the actual bag, all of the gear, learning from books and YouTube vlogs and blogs, podcasts and personal conversations with the experienced. Not to mention the everyday “normal” life that I live in anticipation of attempting a hike of a lifetime. The Appalachian Trail! And everybody thinks I am crazy.
I get excited. I get nervous. I get frustrated. I get all the feelings, but mostly… I’m past ready.
I’ve spent years dreaming of what the AT has in store for me. Both for my spiritual and physical growth. Seven years ago I did a little hike from Springer Mountain to Unicoi Gap, 50 some odd miles of hell! I was completely unprepared with heavy old gear from my dad’s days in the military. I carried the wrong clothes the wrong amount of food. Everything wrong and everything weighing more than 100lbs. I had no idea how long I was going to be on the trail or what I was even doing on the trail. I didn’t know the rules. I had no idea what it was to be a courteous hiker. I peed where I shouldn’t and slept where I shouldn’t. I left things on the side of the trail when it started getting too heavy… after about 4 Miles in!
In the 7 years since my feet left the trail, those 10 days have grown in my mind to be some of the best days I ever got to experience. My crazy ass wants more and this time… I want it All! Why Not! If 10 days of misery was so awesome won’t 150 be even better?
I get to set foot on the trail again starting from Unicoi Gap on Saturday, June 4th, 2022. The Friday before, I will hike up Springer Mountain once more, 7 years older and thankfully slightly wiser than the first time. After a few hours of playing around and spending time with a friend, I’ll spend my last night in a bed. For a while anyway. Then, early Saturday morning, I get to join the many others who started their adventure for this year’s journey on the Appalachian Trail.
Eventually, when I get to about half-way through the trail, I will do a flip-flop so that I am not caught on Mount Katahdin in the middle of a winter storm… but that’s getting ahead of myself.
For today, I will breathe through another annoyingly slow day until the moment when I can feel the sun (or rain) on my face, the dirt and rocks under my hiking shoes and the 35lbs of everything I own on my back.
Calypso and Magenta
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If it was easy everybody be doin it. Cool pic double exposure or something. you flip you flop; hike till you,….drrrrrop. quitten booze is a good call that stuff hurts my soul. Your so young I’m excited for you I’ve got a good feeling about you now get outa here go ya big lug
Thank you Smitty!
Don’t major on the minor things. Keeping in sight the greater aims of spiritual and physical growth is your bigger picture. That growth necessarily includes emotional and mental growth. This is what you came for. Don’ lose sight of it. Don’t become weary in well doing. Find strength in it.
Thank you for those encouraging words Dogwood.
Good luck. Saying prayer for you. I’m planning 6 years out for my thru hike in 2028. I too will flip-flop. Starting May 1st nobo from Harper’s ferry. Then flop back sobo from Harpers Ferry Sept 1st. Looking for recovery angels on the trail and thru hikers/trekkers willing to share 12step meetings along the way. May your spiritual, mental, and physical journey be blessed.
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