Groot is on the loose! The reason for Groot on the AT

Seasons greetings to my fellow hikers,  hope the holidays are treating you and yours well!   The following is the reason I’m toting an 8 ounce Groot action figure on the AT in 2018 (other than him being so frigging adorable):

So,  imagine if you will,  that you’ve decided to thru hike the Appalachian Trail.   The lead up was amazing: reading stories and experiences on Facebook, procuring top-of-the-line gear,  telling your boss to ‘take this job and shove it’,  explaining to your friends and family that, no, you really aren’t insane.  You know,  the things free spirited dreams are made of.   Then you actually started.

The adrenaline wore off sometime around day three, but you kept on plugging along like someone committed to a dream should.   You managed to make it through Georgia,  North Carolina, Tennessee on shear willpower.  Definitely not because of your achy,  breaky feet.   Every time you look down,  you’re amazed that they’re still there, to be honest.  Now here you are sitting on a log somewhere in the Blue Ridge section of Virginia and just want to go home.  Your AT guide says that that there is a major intersection with a road coming up in a few miles and you start flexing your thumb in preparation of the flagging of your ride back to civilization.

Just as you stand up and start strapping your pack on for what you hope is the last time in a bazillion years,  some dopey hiker passes you by and you see a cute little face peaking out of his backpack.   It’s baby Groot from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ fame!  That is so awesome! So you finish hitching up and hurry to catch up with this pop culture idol toting hiker.

In those last few miles to your date with the real world,  the two of you (the hikers,  not Groot,  he’s mute.  Duh!) get talking about your experiences on the trail so far and how awesome Groot is.   You realize that your experience isn’t that much different from this other hiker’s and he’s still stoked to carry on to Katahdin.   Your trip back to suburbia is already starting to waver a bit in your head.

So now here you are at the road intersection you were drooling over a couple hours ago.   You can’t let your new-found friend see you quit now and you DEFINITELY can’t do that to Groot, that adorable little tree cherub.   So you push on.   The next few miles and days seem easier somehow.   The reality finally sets in: ‘Hey,  I’ve made it through the Virginia Blues!’.  Harper’s Ferry is on the horizon and there’s no quitting now!  Maine,  here you come!

This is the purpose I’m hauling Groot almost 2,200 miles.  Groot inspires. Groot lifts up.  I am Groot.

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Comments 6

  • Avatar
    Adrian Redgwell : Dec 9th

    Happy Trails Groot. See you there and I might bring an icon from the 70’s with me, either a raisin man ir a troll. Not sure. Departing with my small retired ,military group plus 1 on 19 March 18 and praying for a ton of snow to hike in lol.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Jon Goff : Dec 9th

      A California Raisin would be an awesome mascot! I’m starting March 10, but will be taking my time absorbing the whole experience with Groot, so I hope to see your group sometime along the way. Thank you for your service, Adrian!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Ranger Del : Dec 10th

    Jeff,
    Good luck on your hike! You certainly have the right attitude. PMA; positive mental attitude will get you through when you think can’t. Go for it!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Jon Goff : Dec 10th

      Thank you for your kind words, Del. I try to go by PACE: Positive Attitudes Change Everything. Groot and I are getting antsy for March to arrive!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Jacob Strayer : Apr 20th

    Groot is lame AF. Carrying a toy doll with you on the trail? What a tool.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Dwayne Allen : May 13th

    Actually you are a piece of shit. And people need to know the real you. The one who belongs to a secret group on Facebook where you and 23 other hikers secretly bash and make fun of other hikers. Especially hikers who are disabled or challenged. So you can pretend to be this nice guy all you want because I know the truth and so do 22 other hikers. Why you must belong to a secret group that bashes and slanders other hikers is beyond me but people need to know the real you and not this fake image you try to show.

    Reply

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