Journey to Springer Began with a Child’s Wonderment
I began this journey unknowingly when I was a child in Cheshire, Mass. I always saw hikers coming through our town when I was young. They stayed at our church, which was used as a hostel for those on their trek to Maine. Every Columbus Day the local community hiked up the tallest mountain in Massachusetts – Mt. Greylock – in an event called the Ramble. I did it many times as a kid. The trail we hiked was the Cheshire Harbor Trail, which connects with the Appalachian Trail near the top of the mountain.
Fast forward to Father’s Day 2016. My wife and son bought me a book called “Hiking Through.” I couldn’t put it down. I was enthralled by the story and life of Paul and his hike of the AT. I began to wonder… Could I do that? Could I hike over 2,000 miles alone? Well, I didn’t know but that’s when I started my research on gear, cost, and history of the trail.
At first my wife thought I was crazy, going through a midlife crisis, but when she saw how serious I was about actually trying to do this she got behind me 100 percent. Over the next almost two years I’ve spent time training, reading, watching other AT hikers on YouTube, and gathering my gear. One piece at a time. One video at a time. One morning at a time building my mind and trail legs before I get to Springer Mountain. Giving up my career, counting down the days until I begin the journey of a lifetime. A mission I believe God has placed in my heart since I was a child. He has given me the love of a supportive family and the means to hike the Appalachian Trail.
I am three weeks from my start and all I can think of each day is how thankful I am. How I’m trying to be safe each day until I see that first blaze on top of Springer. I feel very blessed to come this close to starting my hike and will be even more thankful on day one.
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Well as far as a Father’s day book. Hiking Through??? Total tear jerker. But whatever gets you on the trail. Mine was letterboxing. atlasquest.com
I hope to cross trails eventually and thanks to you I know there’s a Catholic church I can look forward to.
Peace be with you.