Hello From Amicalola Falls-Day Zero!

The Final Countdown

It’s the night before I start the AT and I’ve been pondering the craziness of life over the last year, thinking about how lucky I am to have this opportunity, and whether the transition from a life of comfort to a life in the dirt will hit harder than it did when I did a LASH on the PCT last year.

The Benefits of Discomfort

Prior to the Oregon section of the PCT, I was comfortable with discomfort. I’d spent the better part of a year traveling overseas, living in simple accommodations. When I returned to the US due to COVID, I lived in a small RV and spent most of my time off grid, in remote areas, so hiking and camping every day seemed like an easy transition.

This year, I’m coming out of a different scenario. I still live a simple life. I don’t have many luxuries, but I have a small apartment with running water, a washer and dryer, and a decent bed…miles away from the reality of trail life.

The comfort I’ve lived in over the last few months may make the transition to trail life more difficult, but It’s just one of those things that inspires appreciation of both the trail and the relative luxury of indoor plumbing.

Hikers Are Awesome

I took a shuttle from ATL to Amicalola Falls this afternoon (thanks, Ron!) and even in that short ride, I was able to meet two other like-minded women who were headed to Springer to start their adventure. Despite the pouring rain, they were dead set on starting today and excited to begin. These women and all the people even willing to start the trail are inspiring and motivating. They give up careers, leave significant others behind, and follow their dreams. It’s such an awesome thing to be surrounded by people who share this passion, despite gender identity, race, socio-economic status, and prior outdoor experience. I know the reality of the statistics, but I’m rooting for every one of the people willing to put everything on the line in pursuit of something more than “normal” life in today’s world offers.

For me, I’m just excited to be here! Also, a bit nervous, given the transition from couch to trail, but overall, grateful and excited. There’s so much that can happen in those miles, despite our plans; all any of us can do is give it our best, embrace the beauty and the challenges, and support our fellow hiker trash.

Happy Trails!

Noël aka Homestyle

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