How My Trip to Colorado Prepared Me For The AT

“You weren’t born to just pay bills and die.”

I’m in love with places I’ve never been, and I finally got to meet my love, the Rocky Mountains. I’ve been to Colorado to snowboard before, but I’ve never been to just get out and explore. There’s this sense of wonder that overwhelms me when I think of the Rocky Mountains. I could not have been more excited to finally meet them face to face (literally, mountains in my face).

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park


Me and my lovely friend, Mini, who showed me around her beautiful home state


Lookout Mountain

Deer Mountain || 10,034 feet

Deer Mountain || 10,034 feet

The adrenaline rush from a new adventure only got me more excited for the Appalachian Trail. I’ve yet to follow any white blazes throughout 12 of the 14 states they cover, but I’m in love with every single one. I’ve never seen McAfee Knob with my own eyes. I’ve never walked the Presidential Range. I’ve never experienced the beauty of Maine. But yet, I’m in love with the stories they hold, the views they provide, and the adventure they have awaiting. I absolutely cannot wait to experience all the AT has in store for me. Walking in the woods for 5 months will be the biggest experience of my life thus far. Many people don’t agree with me quitting my job, giving up my apartment, and taking time off school… But I live for adventure and experience. I don’t live to reach a standard that someone else thinks is appropriate for me. I used to live that way, and I was completely and utterly miserable. Miserable. Life isn’t about pleasing others. Life is about finding who you are and fulfilling the dreams deep down inside your soul.

The Rocky Mountains taught me that all the adventures I dream of are right in front of my face. I just have to let go of the fear of what others think and make those dreams a reality. I bought a plane ticket to CO 2 weeks prior to departure. I had no itinerary. I just knew I wanted to meet the mountains I had been in love with for so long. So I did. And it was one of the most eye opening, soul reaching experiences of my life. “You weren’t born to just pay bills and die.” So get out and meet those places you’re in love with. 5 1/2 months from today I will meet Mount Katahdin and begin the ultimate adventure of my life- thru hiking the AT Southbound.

Cheers to life and happy trails!

Let’s chat!
Facebook: Ashley Schellhase
Instagram: @ashschellhase
E-mail: [email protected]

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Comments 1

  • Mark : Feb 4th

    Well said and congrats on having the courage to do what so many want to do but won’t.


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