Down…. but not out


The idea of hiking the AT came to me in late 2015 during a low point in my life. Most people celebrate their birthday in a care free manner, but for me it is a time of reflection. A time when I decide whether I should continue moving forward or if my life needs reevaluating. This was a major reevaluation point.

There I was… twenty-four years old, independent, and a soon to be college senior with a job that put plenty of money in my pocket. What gives? To put it simply, I was not happy with the direction my life was heading. Don’t worry… I’ll spill some juicy details in my next blog, but for now let’s get back to the AT.

During this point it just so happens that I was enrolled in a backpacking course to satisfy a college elective. I always had a passion for the outdoors and a yearning for the mountains. So, it seemed like a fantastic idea to spend my time enrolled in a course that would not only bring me some much needed pleasure, but could also be beneficial to future adventures. What I did not realize is that it would ignite a desire inside of me so strong that it would consume me for months.

I do not remember what exactly sparked the idea of thru-hiking the AT, but it soon became pure obsession. I spent the better part of each day reading and watching every single thing I could concerning the trail. Within six months I spent roughly $2500 creating a rather awesome gear set up for this endeavor. This was my chance to rewrite my life in a new direction and I was going to make it a reality. Before I knew it the date was set and March 2017 was to become the beginning of the rest of my life.

The Downfall

All I needed to do to make my dream come true was continue working and finish out my last semester of college. My savings were accumulating and the end of college growing near, but then one of life’s “great” moments struck. In September 2016, shortly after being picked up on here as a blogger, I got the one phone call you never want to receive when trying to save up for some crazy adventure… I was let go from my job. Not just any job, but a job that had worked with me throughout college. One that worked around my schedule, allowed me to study on the job, and had a gracious take home of $360+ a week while being a full time student. It was an amazing job that came to an abrupt end. At this point it was my final semester and I was heavily involved in school. This job was vital to my success and there was no replacement in sight. Side work became my only income as I continued to support myself and watch everything I saved dwindle away.

Such a change can make a person enter a state of self pity and that’s exactly what happened. I fell back into the abyss that had once consumed me and lost touch with myself yet again… As the semester came to an end hope of pursuing my thru-hike faded away and I continued on with life. The same one I sought to escape from a year earlier.

Well… screw… that! cause I’m back!!
Enough of the sob story! I’m not looking for a pity party!

A New Hope

With the turning of the new year each passing day is a reminder of what was to come, what should come, and what most certainly will come. No excuses, this dream will become a reality.

not southbound… not next year… not in sections… but rather… northbound! this year! and the whole damn thing at one time!

Get on out of here naysayers! This is my year! I refuse to be someone who looks back and regrets not living life to the fullest.

This is not me running off half cocked on some adventure. This is not me taking a vacation from life and doing something that seems cool. This is so much more than that. This is a journey. A journey that will lead me in a new direction. A journey that means more to me than you could possibly imagine. For me… this is the beginning of everything

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Comments 4

  • Annemarie : Feb 15th

    Yay for you, Koty!!

  • Ken. "Shoelace" : Feb 18th

    You have no idea. I’m doing it in sections. 876 done, the rest to go. 703 on tap for this spring. Do it. Any way you can. I’ve met hikers from ’11 to ’16. Just. Don’t. Stop. 🙂

  • Gunslinger : Mar 3rd

    Great posts so far Koty! Best wishes for your thru hike…we’re pulling for you and looking forward to more of your writing and photos! Well done!

    • Koty Sapp : Mar 3rd

      Thanks, I really appreciate it!


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