After the initial shock wears off most people think I am crazy. Why would a seemingly sane 50 year old woman even WANT to do this. My sister said to me (and I am paraphrasing here), “If you can just take a 6 month vacation why don’t we go on an epic road trip?” “Or ANYTHING but walking all day, being bitten by bugs, not taking showers, and pooping in the woods.”
For one thing a 6 month road trip would cost even more than hiking the AT (Even with all the gear). For another thing, that isn’t my dream- well it is, but that one can wait until I REALLY retire.
This dream started when I was just a little girl. Our parents had (still have) a camp in Blanchard Maine. The AT used to go right through the four corners at the center of town. The Crossroads was on the corner. it was a hostel run by the local sheriff Herb and his wife June. My dad would go to visit and we would play outside on the lawn. Most of the hikers were young men a little more than 100 miles from reaching Katahdin. I was to shy to talk to them so I spent my time watching and listening. I was fascinated by them. They had nothing but what they carried on their backs and didn’t seem to have a care in the world. Food, water, and shelter… Everything else was something to celebrate if it came their way.
I didn’t tell many people about my dream. I didn’t want them to laugh at me or tell me how childish it was. I put my dream aside. I got a job, got married and had children. I don’t regret any of it. I still dreamed of hiking the trail but it was just a vague idea of someday.
I went to college in my 40’s and earned my associates degree at 46. Along the way I started to dream again.
One of my assignments was to write a mission statement for my life. I did that and took it one step further. I set a date for hiking the AT and wrote a detailed plan to prepare and make it happen. The date was March 9, 2016 my 50th birthday.
Four years have flown by! In less than two months I will be making this dream a reality.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.