Hiking the Appalachian Trail – Because why the hell not? Class of 2016.
My name is Austin Braswell, and I am currently planning my thru hike adventure, going northbound from Georgia to Maine. I am not 100% sure when my official start date is, however I intend to leave around April or early May. I’d like to be in Damascus, VA for Trail Days if possible along the way – hopefully with some new hiker friends I’ve made!
To introduce myself, I am currently a 23-year-old “super senior” at Towson University (transferred after 2 years from West Virginia University, I also changed my major – it’s a long story, I’ll touch on that later) and I am pursuing a B.S. in Fine Art & Design, with a concentration in Graphic Design. I currently reside in the Baltimore/Towson area and have an incredible internship at Stanley Black & Decker, where I assist in package design. At Towson I am heavily involved within my fraternity, Theta Chi, where I am the Chapter President, and I also work for the Student Activities Marketing Team.
Outside of school, I am from the quaint town of Frederick, Maryland – about an hour away from Towson. I have a very supportive family, a beautiful girlfriend that amazes me each and every day, and two really awesome cocker spaniels! They rock.
I could not be more excited to begin my adventure with Appalachian Trials. I cannot fathom doing a trip like this and not documenting it somehow, so I’d like to extend a massive thank you to Zachary Davis for hosting my adventure. I hope we can meet at some point on the trail, I’ve been really enjoying your book! (A must read for any prospective thru hiker).
Throughout this summer, I have been trying my best to plan as much as possible to help prepare myself for this hike. Resources like WhiteBlaze.net, Appalachian Trials, Backpacker Magazine, etc. have been helping provide a glimpse of what it might be like on the Appalachian Trail. However I know a lot of experiences, well, just need to be experienced!
This trail is something I have wanted to do for a very long time. I cannot really give a solid answer right now as to why I am so drawn to this concept of hiking over 2,000 miles over 14 different states. Perhaps adventure? Maybe to see new places, and experience new things? Or maybe to simply prove to myself that I can take on something as huge as this. I know I will be able to provide a better answer along the way. Maybe I don’t need an answer?
To conclude, I cannot wait for the journey that is ahead! Follow me on my Appalachian Trail adventure, and I promise to provide the most honest, accurate account of my experiences as possible.
AUSTIN BRASWELL, NOBO – CLASS OF ’16
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I’m on for 2016 too! Planning to start at Marion, Va, go north to Katahdin and then back to Marion to finish up. I’m geezer who has wanted to take this walk since I was 19.
Nice! That’s awesome you’re getting out there to take it on, maybe we’ll meet up on the trail at some point! Best of luck!
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I’m 62, starting around March 22, Nobo. You’ll probably catch me.
That’s awesome! Maybe we’ll run into each other. Happy Trails!
Welcome aboard my friend!
Took a couple zeros in Towson during my thru-hike. I’m hoping that my stinky beard energy seeped into your skin, causing the urge for your upcoming journey 🙂
Thanks for the warm welcome!