Hello, From an Over Enthusiastic 2016 Thru-Hiker
151 days until my wedding in Vermont.
225 days until
Christmas the honeymoon in South Africa.
364 days until I leave from Springer Mountain, GA.
The NoBo Class of 2015 is steadily making their way up the East Coast – some approaching the Smokies, some already halfway through Virginia or further. The SoBos have their eyes on the weather and the top of Katahdin, counting down the days, re-packing their packs, and losing sleep. And here I sit, along with the rest of the Class of 2016, feeling like our turn will never come, or possibly starting to feel a low-grade panic that will last for another 8-12 months until we get to start.
Although I’ve casually been planning since 2013, this time it’s concrete. I love the organization, the logistics. Plus, I’m a broke-ass second-Bachelor’s college student, eligible for exactly zero financial aid. Financial planning is a necessity. Everyone at work knows I’m going (and are probably already sick of hearing about it, sorry-not-sorry), the fiancé has given his blessing (more on that below), and the family has officially tried to talk me out of it. So yes, it’s happening.
The new plan.
See, the original plan was to take a semester off of school and hike in 2015. If I’d stuck with that plan, I’d be in VA now like some of the incredible and inspiring bloggers on this site. However, my amazing boyfriend of 4 years proposed in June 2014 and later very reasonably requested that perhaps I not be in the woods for the 6 months immediately before our wedding. Seems fair. He’s totally onboard the 2016 train now (he bought me a little book called Appalachian Trials), although I’m still working on the family. Hi mom! Hardly anyone gets attacked by bears, I promise!
So we return to me on my couch, waiting for one of our favorite clients to be dropped off (in-home Doggie B&B, job #1) and then heading off to the glass art studio tonight (job #2). I took my last final exam last Friday and immediately headed off for a weekend hiking trip with some friends in Bear Mountain State Park, NY state, including 2 miles on the AT and hitting up the infamous “Lemon Squeezer”. So this is my prep right now. There’s not much for me to do except work, work, work, to pay for tuition and gear and 4 months without income. Of course, I’ll also be reading every post on thetrek.co, double-tapping every AT photo on Instagram, and following closely and with just a little jealousy all the epic adventures happening daily. 364 days is a long time and there’s much to be done. Relax, pull up a chair, and enjoy the journey with me.
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