And They Ask Me Why….

Hi everyone! My name is Angela, trail name “No Shit,” and I’m going to be thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail starting late next week.  I’m a flip flopper due to age, hiking speed, and as I see it, great planning.  Not everyone out there thinks, “Wow, I may not make it to Katahdin by end of season, so I should flip up north and then flop down again to finish what I didn’t previously.” Thank you to the ATC for giving it a great name!

I am 59 years old and never hiked until 2016 when, now husband, Paul, took me to the Adirondacks to climb Mt. Marcy.  That’s the tallest in New York State, and did I mention that I had never hiked before that trip???  At the top, after hiking in eight miles or so to camp overnight and hike another couple miles to the base to climb upwards, I saw tons of people just wandering around the summit.  At first I couldn’t figure out what was bothering me about these folks but soon figured out that I hadn’t passed them that day or the previous day!  When I asked my now husband, thru-hiker AT 2009, PCT 2019, how they all got there, he calmly answered, “Oh they hiked in from the Loj, pronounced lodge.”  I yelled, “There’s a lodge??”  And that’s how I fell in love with hiking.  Come to find out the Loj is nowhere like the hike that I had done, explaining all the children and dogs.  I married him anyway.

Fast forward to 2018 when I, along with Paul and his mother (more about her later), hiked the 100 Mile Wilderness in Maine.  We hiked it in nine days and I loved the beauty of the hike and the accomplishment of completing that section.  We finished that hike knowing that a thru-hike was inevitable.  And that, my readers, brings me to 2021.  I started as thru-hiker that year with Joyce, my MIL.  She got injured at 100 miles or so and I hiked on but didn’t have the drive that I needed.  I completed about 700 miles that season which I consider my LASH, Long Ass Section Hike, which isn’t scoffing material but not what I wanted.  Now onto this year and this hike!  Joyce and I will again be starting out in Georgia but with a planned flip up north at some point to climb a big scary mountain then flop down to complete the trail before the hiking season is over for the year.

I’m an LVT, licensed veterinary technician, in a small animal practice.  My hospital will be following me as I hike via this blog and numerous texts and the most asked question I get is why?  Why would I subject myself to sleeping in a tent for months, eating meals out of a titanium cup, carrying everything in a backpack in the wind, rain, and heat and leaving behind family and friends? Why would I consider hiking with snakes, bears and the ever-present mountains?  Why would anyone leave a job, family and friends for basically six months to live in the woods and smell like a dirty hiker?  The answer is simple…. because it’s there.  It’s something that once you experience you can never quite explain it.  The beauty, the simplicity of life, the people you meet, the things you experience, all out there on the trail.  The trail calls to you and despite all the fears, smells and distance, we go to hike it.  Come along with me for the walk, it will be everything and more.

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Comments 3

  • Bonnie Walker : Mar 14th

    All the love and support I can send. Time spent in the woods is never wasted. The fact that the ground you will be walking on has millions of stories to tell is amazing. Each view has been seen by so many people before you and each time I think a wisp of that memory remains. You stand among history. Enjoy and God bless.

  • Pacholec Bridget : Mar 18th

    So excited to follow along!

  • BeerCan : Mar 22nd

    Love it! Goooo!!


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