Final Reflections Before the Appalachian Trail
The time has come, and today is the day. My parents and best friend camped at Amicalola with Isaac and me last night, so as I write this I’m about to start the trail.
It’s About the Journey, Not the Destination
(Sorry, not sorry for the most cliche phrase imaginable.)
The journey has already started out interestingly. On the way to Murfreesboro, where my parents live, we nearly had a blowout on the interstate in my little car. It was highly annoying and could have been highly dangerous, but in the end I got some practice changing a tire. That’s good, right?
Once I got to Murfreesboro, I quickly realized I’d forgotten my sleeping bag liner. I originally had bought a silk Cocoon liner, and planned to use it to keep my bag cleaner and more comfortable. Fortunately, I was able to grab a new liner at a Cabela’s just across the TN/GA line.
As I sit and think about the journey ahead of me, I’m experiencing a mix of emotions. I’m certainly excited, but I’m also anxious and a little afraid. This is so entirely, unimaginably new, and the unknown is often difficult to sit with. I know my parents are freaking out as well, but they are so awesome and supportive anyways.
I also can’t help but look back at the almost two years that Isaac and I have spent preparing for this journey. After completing my term with AmeriCorps at the end of 2018, I started working as a waitress at the local Texas Roadhouse. I’ve worked 50-hour (plus) weeks for the past three months, and it’s been challenging. But I was able to scrape together the money I need, and I’m proud of myself for that.
A few friends have told me that they’re jealous of me for being able to thru-hike, and I get that. There are certainly some lucky circumstances that have helped me take this leap, but mostly it’s been my own determination. I have made a lot of sacrifices to make this work. While most of my friends were partying and going to festivals this summer, I was at home. When my friends went out every weekend, I stayed home to save money. That sucked. But I’m proud of myself for that, too.
As far as I can tell, anything worth doing is probably going to come with some sacrifices.
Anyways, on to brighter subjects.
This is Sebastian. Sebastian is a chubby unicorn. He’s hiking the AT with me. I’m gonna do my best to take a lot of photos with Sebastian, so stay tuned.
But for what it’s worth, my advice is this:
If you’re jealous, or you want to hike, make it happen. It won’t be easy. It’s not going to fall into your lap. But you can make it happen. Hike your hike!
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