Aquaman to Take on the Appalachian Trail

Hello everyone,

My name is Rick Stafford, but my friends call me Aquaman. My journey on the Appalachian Trail is scheduled to begin on March 6, 2020. This will be my first attempt on the trail and I’ll be starting as a northbound hiker. I have been planning this adventure for the last three years and have been slowly acquiring gear and conditioning myself since I made the decision to do this. I am currently living in Central Florida, so being a flatlander will be a definite disadvantage as I start. Also, Central Florida is not known for getting much snow in the winter. So as I start in March in the mountains of North Georgia, I’m sure I’ll be living in snow quite a bit early on. Over the coming weeks, I intend to discuss my reasons for doing the trail, how I’ve gone about conditioning myself over the past three years, what I hope to accomplish other than just the completion in Maine, along with some fun stories. Logistically, this will probably be one of the most difficult challenges I’ve ever undertaken, but I’m betting the payoff emotionally, physically, and mentally will pay dividends for the rest of my life. In the five months I have left leading up to my departure date, I still have gear to purchase, logistics to work out, advanced conditioning to undergo, and trail planning to complete. I’ve read the statistics and I know I am in a minority when it comes to age for those that actually complete the trail, but one thing I have always had going for me is tenacity. Short of catastrophic conditions or life-threatening injuries, quitting is not in my vocabulary. I will go into greater detail of my core drive at a later date, but for now, Aquaman is getting ready to take on the trail’s 2,000+ miles and try to make it look easy along the way.

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