Coming Full Circle: The Beginning of an End

“A man who pushes his boundaries ultimately finds them.”
– Point Break, 2015

January is over. I wish I could say that there was still gear left for us to research. I wish I could tell you that we still have “fun things” to do in our preparation. Things like spraying our gear with permethrin, setting up our tent, envisioning camp chores, and taking trips to Costco to plan meals were enjoyable because we were learning and growing together. Honestly, just the feeling of creating a stock pile of hiking gear was enough fun in itself. We have taken an approximate fuck ton of trips to our local REI’s. Without a doubt, they know who we are and what we are doing, and have to be tired of us. Hopefully not! In that same thought, we have to show our love for Derek and Eric. One NOBO and one SOBO, both are former thru hikers who happen to work at the REI we frequent. Thank you for the knowledge, support, and motivation. We are forever grateful for the two of you. The reality is that we are twenty two days away from being dropped off at Amicalola Lodge.

Last minute touches!  Treating our gear with permethrin.

Over the course of the past ten months our entire focus has been prep, prep, prep. As cooks, prep is something we are accustomed to. Just like preparing for a service, planning to hike the Appalachian Trail took the same kind of thought organizing. There is a saying we like to say and that is to focus on the task at hand. To focus on the task at hand is attending to what matters most right now. The first task at hand was to save for the trip. Without funds, there is no hike. Only after that was done could we move on to the next task. Next was getting every piece of gear we would possibly need. Possibly is a crucial word because with our returns and exchanges alone, REI could have had a garage sale. This phase seems to have taken the longest only because one of us was extra picky with his gear. *Cough* Alex. To be fair, I was picky. Amanda is the type of person to know what she wants and makes what she has work for her. I, on the other hand, found that getting gear, testing gear, and returning/exchanging gear worked better so I could hone in on my preferences.

For those that don’t know, before we got this idea, we had no previous hiking experience and thus, have no real idea of what we are getting ourselves into. See here.

Still to do:
-Portion Dr. Bronners & contact soultion in squeeze bottles
-Finalize pack organization
-Buy food that we are starting with at Springer
-Finalize mail drop boxes

For us, seeing the preparation phase slowly come to an end is bittersweet. Everything that we have been working for over the past year is coming to fruition. Every list made, every book read, every Seven video watched, and every shakedown we have done is coming down to these next three weeks. It is just hard to now understand that now that prep is done, the new task at hand is to walk 2,190 miles. We hope to have one more small post that details our finishing touches along with the journey down south to Georgia and maybe even into the lodge so stay tuned for that!

If by chance we do not post until we get out on the trail we both just wanted to thank each and every one of you for following along. We hope that our story in any way can motivate you to do something you do not think you can do. Life is not about confining yourself to what you think your limitations are. Go out and get life. It is there for the taking. It has also been so great reading your stories and seeing your preparation on Instagram. If you see us out there please don’t be a stranger, you are all family to us! Thank you for your kind words, your support, and your love.

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”– Theodore Roosevelt

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Comments 2

  • Heather P : Jan 29th

    This is a great post! Thanks for sharing your experience…it seems very similar to mine and my husband’s experiences. I feel the same way about the Gear we have been through…thank goodness for REI. Good luck out there, I will look for your names in the log books!

  • Dave Phillips : Jan 29th

    Good luck on your adventure! Bonnie and I will be following you to the end of the trail.


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