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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