Hiker Intro: Stephen (No Cool Trail Name Yet)

Let Me Introduce Myself

I was going to make my second post about route planning, but I’m calling an audible (Omaha, Omaha!) and switching it up.

My name is Stephen (Pronounced “Stev-en”; I get called “Steph-en” on the daily though) and I’m attempting the AT thru hike (NOBO) starting 16 February. This is my first thru hike so I don’t have a cool trail name yet. I wanted to make this intro a little more personable and fun since you can find generalized info about someone through LinkedIn, Google, etc. So here we go!

General Info

  • Born 31 December 1978 (Capricorn)
  • States I’ve lived in: Rhode Island, Ohio, North Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Missouri, Northern Virginia (Arlington), and Colorado. Currently residing in Colorado Springs. Abroad I lived in Germany for 3 years.
  • Hobbies are reading (anything from news articles to books to peer reviewed journals), cycling, cooking, antiquing, watching documentaries or movies, playing guitar, and motorcycle riding.
  • Retired US Army after 23 years. Deployments: Iraq (03-04), Afghanistan (08-09), Iraq (10-11), Kuwait (15-16), Germany (16-17), Kuwait/Iraq/Syria (18-19)

Fun Facts

  • I have a huge scar on my right retina resulting from accidentally poking my eye with a screw driver when I was about five years old. Long story.
  • I almost lost mobility in my left foot from another accident when I was a teenager (apparently I was a walking calamity when I was younger). Again, another long story.
  • I have never voted as I always viewed it as a conflict of interest being in the military. Who gets to pick their own boss? On the flip side I have never complained about an administration because I didn’t vote. Annnd you kind of give up that complaining about the President freedom of speech right in the military.
  • I had LASIK in 2009 and it’s still holding up.
  • I’ve met Tiger Woods and he was one of the most down to earth celebrities out there.
  • I used to have both my ears pierced before I joined the military.
  • I graduated from a military high school (Marion Military Institute) in 1997. I was a wayward teenager.
  • Concerts I’ve seen: Pearl Jam, Tool, Slipknot, Widespread Panic, Soundgarden, GNR, and Seven Mary Three.

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

  • Favorite music genre: Mostly rock or old school rock, but I can listen to just about anything.
  • Top 5 Movies: The Empire Strikes Back; There will Be Blood (Daniel Day Lewis is phenomenal in that movie); Inception (Nolan’s ability to show time dilation is amazing); The Wrestler (Mickey Rourke’s comeback role and he played it perfectly), and The Shawshank Redemption (this movie did HORRIBLE in theatrical release and became the classic it is once it went to video). Honorable mention: Step Brothers.
  • Top 5 Books: Whiskey, Cigars, and Winning; Guns, Germs, and Steel (Pulitzer Prize Winner); Ghosts of the Highlands: True Story of LRRPs in Vietnam; Midnight in Chernobyl; and Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense (Robert Gates’ book; very well written). Honorable mention: General Sherman’s Memoirs.
  • Favorite Foods: Hibachi and Sushi!! Italian, seafood, Greek, German, Chinese, Mexican, eh…just all food in general. I’m not Vegan nor Paleo nor Gluten Free, but have much respect for those who do. At the end of the day, nothing beats a good rare steak with a baked potato and red wine.
  • Favorite TV Show: The Office hands down.
  • Favorite Sports Teams: All BOSTON!! Celtics, Bruins, Redsox and Patriots.

Hiking Experience

Other than deployments and walking around with body armor, weapons, ammunition, water, and sometimes a small pack with supplies; not much. I would say I’m definitely more of a hiker than a runner though. I’m getting in as many hikes as I can before my start date. If anyone has good ideas on shakedown hikes, please let me know!

That pretty much sums it up. I’m excited to meet others out on the trail! The next post will be about the route planning I’ve done thus far (no audible on the next one). Thanks for following along!

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Comments 13

  • lost and found : Nov 3rd

    Before you make it to Sam’s Gap contact Doug at The Trail Head Lodge lodge in Wolf Laurel . He can pick up at Big Bald Mile 326.5. Managed by a retired Green Beret LTC he has a great lodge 912.665.4820.

    • Stephen : Nov 4th

      Thank you for the suggestion and contact info! I will definitely include that in my route planning.

  • thetentman : Nov 4th

    Thx for the post. I have a suggestion for a Trail Name – Noob.

    Good luck.

    • Stephen : Nov 4th

      Lol thanks for the suggestion. I think I will wait till I’m on the trail and get named by a tramily.

  • Pat Tucker : Nov 4th

    Thank you for your service, Stephen, from a fellow Army Veteran! Best of luck to you, I’ll be looking for your posts, as I’m thinking about doing a section hike next year, but starting in Harper’s Ferry, and heading south. When you get into North Carolina, Franklin is a very cool trail town, with an excellent outfitters store right on the main street. And some good restaurants too! Be safe!

    • Stephen : Nov 4th

      Thank you for the suggestion Pat! I have Harper’s Ferry as a stop along the way too. I am huge history buff and have always wanted to visit there. Good luck on your upcoming hike! Appreciate you following along my journey and thank you for your sevrice!

  • Tom : Nov 4th

    Looking forward to your NOBO hike posts. Thanks for giving 23 years of your life to our country. Remember, It’s The F- ing Catalina Wine Mixer !!!!

    • Bryan Buchanan : Nov 5th

      So much room for activities – from Maine to Georgia!

    • Stephen : Nov 9th

      Thanks for following along Tom! Prestige Worldwide!!

  • Bryan Buchanan : Nov 5th

    Love ya, brother!

    Looking for my time to end and then begin!

    • Stephen : Nov 9th

      Love ya bro! Happy Vets Day this week and I’ll try to blaze a path for ya!

  • Tinkerbomb : Nov 9th

    Great post! If/when you see a 6’ girl headed SOBO on the trail that’ll be me. I carry Knob Creek at all times so we’ll share some & hopefully a rare steak too (my treat). It’s the least I can do for all the years of service you gave to our country. I’m from France but I’ve lived here for years and I’m proud to be a citizen of the USA!

    • Stephen : Nov 9th

      Awesome and thank you very much!! Look forward to meeting you and hearing all about your time in the US and France. See ya out there!


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