Declaration of Transience
Here begins the great Appalachian journey of David and Kyle. At Pilot Mountain State Park this past Monday, with some hefty packs, we went on our first official training hike. Unofficial training has been ongoing for several months, but no one cares about unofficial things. This is us, feeling ready.
We plan on starting from Springer in late March-ish. Until then we have been, and will continue to, pace restlessly back and forth in our rooms in North Carolina, muttering about ounces and thermal ratings.
Here’s some background, to get you fully engrossed in our story:
Kyle Seamans (right) is my brother, and he wants to escape the mundane. As a fresh college graduate, he doesn’t want to settle into a ‘real job’—nature is cool, right? Not too mainstream yet? Some months full of self-discovery will do him well, and the mental test of carrying through with such a hike will hopefully prep him for post-trail endeavors. What he won’t tell you is that he’s really doing the trail to come out with insane muscle definition and powerful thighs (but isn’t that what we all secretly do it for?). This thru-hike will be his journey out of the world of school he has been entrenched in for so long, and hopefully end with a new outlook on life.
My name is David (left), and I want to be more than I am. In order to do that I feel like I need to explode out of cycles of predictability, and one way to do that is to suddenly commit to hiking for five months when I really should be finding a job. This past year-and-a-half I’ve been working towards my dream of publishing a novel, and I’ve been living in Shanghai grinding out words. I’m terrified of taking so much time and money away from my writing—I could be using these savings for writing time and publishing—however I feel this hike is necessary somehow, like the writing and the walking are all part of the same journey, and I hope to discover just how that is.
For readers less familiar with the Appalachian Trail, it’s roughly 2,180 miles running from Springer Mountain in north Georgia to Katahdin Mountain in central Maine. About 12,000 people have thru-hiked those miles before us, about 2,000 more will attempt this year, and about 500 of those will finish. A thru-hike takes 4-6 months to complete; we suspect ours will take five, meaning an end date of late-August/early-September/before-October-15th-when-Katahdin-closes.
Here’s a link to the official AT page for curious relatives and here’s their map:
So. The stage has been set. David and Kyle and the open trail. What trials await them? What perils? Mysteries? Discoveries? Follow closely to witness the riveting transformation of boys into men, education-system-exports into wandering yogis, the waterfat into Fremen.
As a first note: Friends and Relatives, we’ll be crossing a lot of ground in the next few months, crossing a lot of your states, so know that we would love to see you if you have the time. Meet us for a picnic or join us on the trail for a while. We will have phones that we will check regularly, so send us emails or leave messages and we will be able to receive them. Keep in touch.
David and Kyle
(photo credit goes to Kyle, as he will be our official photographer)
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Pilot Mountain is a great place for a pre-trip workout. I’m trying to go a couple of times a month. I’m doing mine in 2016. good luck to you both.
Hey thanks! Yeah, great workout spot, easy to get to.