Finding Peace, and Rebirth, In Nature

As I continue packing my life into boxes to be stored in my friend’s basement for the next six months, I start to remember all the memories of these different items. The time I bought yet another band T-shirt from a house show; or that piece of gear I took on the Black Forest Trail two, maybe even three years ago, with Shannon. Worst yet is that box just labeled “high school stuff.”  I don’t even bother to look inside but instead load it into the car to be stored until the next move.

AT Prep

AT training day.

Packing my belongings to be stored away, I am simultaneously filling a backpack with minimal gear to survive off for six months.  Each piece has a specific purpose, maybe even multiple uses, but it’s all intention. I am very interested to see how my perspective changes when I reach the end of this journey. This process opens my mind to thoughts of what is really most important to me in this life.

Is life all about the things that we possess? I hope not. For all things shall pass away, but what remains eternal is love. Therefore, as I look forward to hiking the trail just as much as I must also look into the past; to understand the person that I have become. The person that brought me to this place here and now. To remember the people that have been placed in my life to help me move forward and grow.

Why the AT, and Why Now?

This trip is designed for my well-being. People always look at me and ask, why would you want to do such a thing? Well, I ask, why not? I have wanted to hike this trail for more than ten years now; it’s one adventure to check off the bucket list. Back in 2008 when I first heard of thru-hiking, I thought, now there is a challenge. It was all about proving something to myself. Probably because I was an 18-year-old kid fresh out of high school with no idea of what life is really about.

But why now? You see, that is a long story for another time perhaps, but the short of it is: less than a year ago I got divorced, had to sell my house, plus I have been wanting to quit my job for years. With all that life just handed me the opportunity to drop everything grab my pack and go. (We just aren’t going to talk about leaving friends and family. That deserve its own post about those difficulties.) No, this trip isn’t about running away or trying to escape something. It’s the complete opposite, actually; this trip is meant for an immense amount of introspection. I tell people all the time, I look at this trip as my rebirth. Of course, there is still the desire and drive to prove something to myself. But pass or fail this is where I am supposed to be. Right here, in this moment in history, taking on the adventure of a lifetime.

So I look ahead, I stay strong and I live loved.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 4

  • Cate Striplin : Mar 19th

    I think it’s great!!! But where’s the mention of your cool friend Cate… or your broken hip, ya grandma!?

    Go get ‘em Gram. You got this!

    Reply
  • Tyler Upham : Mar 19th

    Duuude! This is so amazing!!! If you are able too, let me know when you make it to VA, I would love to visit you/hike a little with you!

    Reply
  • Keryn Uhler-Farnum : Mar 23rd

    Craig, just want you to know that I think what you are doing is brave, crazy, cool and I applaud your sincere desire to use this time to get out and praying with you to have some answers…we all need to do what you are doing…thank you for sharing it with me…Wesley and I will be following and if you need anything do not hesitate to let us know…love you and cannot wait to read @ your dicoveries…❤️❤️🙏🏻🙏🏻❤️❤️🗺🛶🧗🏼‍♂️🏔🏕🏞 way to go!! Aunt Keryn and Wes

    Reply
  • Deadpool : Apr 2nd

    Wicked awesome looking forward to following you on the trail…literally!

    Reply

What Do You Think?