Getting Closer to the Start Date..

As I get closer to the start date, I receive so much advice about how to be safe, what  to eat and reasons why I shouldn’t be doing this in the first place.  I know that everyone has concerns and  my best interest at heart.  I have run out of things to say to the naysayers and the ones with really impractical advice.  Some recommendations are, “you should carry a gun, do you have a knife?  No, not that little Swiss army knife but a big one.”  I try to reassure people that I’m safer on the trail than I am on some city streets.  People on the trail are a community and committed to hiking the trail.  Of course, I’m not so naive to think that there are no “bad apples” on the trail.  That’s all part of life but, the majority of hikers are focused on hiking and enjoying nature.  This morning I had a long discussion about snakes and mice, which happen to be my two phobias. I will face my fears of these and other creatures as they come.


Getting closer to my departure for the trail I begin to accept the probability that I will see snakes, live with mice in shelters and maybe see a bear or two. I will also have to move away from uncomfortable conversations and situations.  Actually I do that now.   Does that frighten me? No, earlier when I first started planning my trip I was shaken. But, now I’ve come to the realization that I will be in an environment where I will be on alert for incidents with people and wildlife.

I need to appreciate this as part of the other aspects of hiking the trail.  I feel really brave and confident that I will complete my thru-hike even if it does take six months.  I have until October 15.

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Comments 2

  • Nancy Confer : Feb 24th

    First, thank you for your service to our country.
    Second, if you taught school, you can take this trail.
    Sounds like you have thought this thru and making an informed decision.
    Good for you!
    I’ll be following your blog and wish you the best in this adventure.

    • Barbara Richey : Feb 24th

      Thank you so much Nancy. It is so inspiring when you know others are watching. Actually my students from last semester are following me as well. Therefore, I have to be a role-model…lol.


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