I Feel Like the Most Indecisive Hiker Ever
Guys, dysfunction is OK. Nothing runs smoothly 100 percent and lucky me, that so happens to be the trail. I mean, everyone knows how life can change at a flick-of-a-switch. One minute you have this solid plan, you’re ready to go, and you’re on a mission. Every single friend and family member knows what you’re doing, it’s announced, and it’s official.
Well, sometimes, a lot of times actually, things change… so fast.
Listen to this.
So the original plan for the AT was to finish half the trail this summer before school started back up. I felt like that was a good stopping point to be able to feel successful mentally and be able to willingly get off the trail. I had it all figured out; I was set.
I am now only 38 days away from the Appalachian Trail, Springer Mountain, the real deal, and things are still changing.
I swear I’m not crazy. Please bear with me.
Exciting news guys. I graduate in December!
Not so exciting news, guys, I have to take a summer class to make that possible.
So what do I do? Hold off the trail till a year that I have no commitments? Or screw the summer session and just postpone my graduation till next year? Seeing as though I have been in undergrad for 3,290 years, I’m ready to have this thing off my back.
No, I’m not canceling the trail.
The decision has been made to take the second summer session genetics course (end me now). That gives me exactly two months (60 days exactly) to hike from Georgia to Pennsylvania. I’m not gonna lie, I was bummed when I laid this all out.
So here I am, having to hike give-or-take 1,099 miles in a couple of months. For some reason in this noggin of mine, with summer school starting up in July, I was still so determined to still finish half of the trail in that time span. Seeing as I’m already starting the trail very late, May 6, I’d have to consistently hike 20-plus miles daily, no zero days, no long luxurious lunches in town, no hostel stays. The bonus fun stuff.
I was being unrealistic, and honestly, just being downright stubborn and competitive.
What’s the fun in that?
The trail is my vacation. I shouldn’t be so focused on this “race” I’m making it out to be.
Here’s the exciting news.
The other day I was talking to my mom. We were going over the logistics. Making sure that they were still good to take care of my sweet pup Ziggy while I’m away as well as going over the day I was leaving, how long I’d be gone, and ya know… the usual.
So I was set. Good to go. Everything was still in line.
And here I am, typing this thing up at almost midnight, because it just now hit me.
Why the heck would I even try to selfishly rush this trail just because it “isn’t going as originally planned” when I can take my best friend with me, go at our own pace, let him do what he loves, and enjoy the freaking trail? Together?
That’s right. I’m bringing the pup.
At this point, odds of me completing what I wanted on the trail are slim, not impossible, but it would be beyond tough seeing as I’m lacking the skills of an ultramarathon, trail-running, long-distance hiking goddess. I’m just completely out of shape, but we don’t need to talk about that.
Why wouldn’t I take my best friend with me, tough or not, and make this trail exactly what I would want it to be? I was so focused on the fact that he would slow me down, make town stops tougher, and more than likely need different zero days than I do. They call that selfish1.
The trail will always be there and I have plans to make the complete thru-hike later in life, maybe in a year, maybe in two, maybe in ten (not really but added for dramatic effect) but right now God has handed me different cards and I’m taking them for exactly what they are and will make the absolute best out of it.
Springer to wherever I end up,
You aren’t ready for me and Zig.
1: Selfish to me. I believe it’s smart to go alone because you really do need to hike your own hike. But when my dog is getting older and I’m not willing to take the extra load to let him join on something he’d love before it’s not an option anymore, that’s selfish to me.
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