Four Days until I’m officially a Warrior Hiker
Whelp, shit just got real! In two days I will meet my fellow Warrior Hikers and in four days I’ll be taking my first steps on the Appalachian Trail.
About five months ago I sat sweating in my undies staring at Mount Katahdin. After separating from the Air Force in August, I decided that I was going to fulfill my dream to walk all 2,100+ miles of the Appalachian Trail. But while sitting on a sandy river shore in Maine, I decided it wasn’t going to happen. My journal entry actually read…
Journal entry October 2014, Maine:
How is it sooooo f***ing hot right now? If I knew how far away Matt and Mitch were, I’d definitely loose these granny panties. Oh yes, I’m sitting on a muddy river shore staring at Katahdin in my big pink granny panties! On the plus side, I’m no longer dying in the fetal position feeling ever-so-lucky I was born a woman. Yesterday I laid on my side staring at that damn mountain for nearly the entire day and almost all of today. The sun is starting to go down and I can’t stop thinking about that damn mountain. I want to be there. I want to stand there after walking over two-thousand miles and say “I just did that.” I don’t know why I’d say something so lame but that’s exactly what I imagine I’d say. But it’s not a good idea. Not yet. How can I leave Paityn again for six months? There’s no way I want to miss her first day of school, if she can even start school yet. I should probably know this. What if Griff gets orders overseas? I can’t leave right in the middle of a PCS. I’m being incredibly selfish to think I can up and leave for six months just because I want to. F*** it, sorry Katahdin, not yet my friend, not yet.
So I decided right then and there that 2015 was not my year to hike the AT. And theeeeen in January of this year, things changed. This IS my year! I have the time, Paityn won’t be starting First Grade until 2016, and I don’t need to get a job just yet. It’s happening! For weeks I gathered gear, experimented with dehydrated meals and read countless blogs… then I found the Warrior Hike!
I was pleasantly surprised to find a group of veterans who were also doing long-distance hikes. Although I was too late to apply, I sent the group an email to let them know how flipping awesome they were. A few emails and phone calls later, I was given the amazing opportunity to become the 11th 2015 Warrior Hiker.
You’d think with sponsors providing you awesome gear, years of rucking (kinda like military hiking), and a tremendous love of the outdoors, there wouldn’t be anything left to stress over. Unfortunately I’ve managed to find plenty! Leaving my four-year-old for six months is emotionally draining, not knowing whether or not I’m going to be coming home to my current house in Charleston, SC (my husband is up for orders while I’m gone), and setting up for my post-military career is damn stressful!
But all-in-all I’m stoked! I’m learning to blog (as you can tell by reading this crack-pot writing) and I’m taking the next step to get my dream job. Four days… fouuuuuur days!
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