Why I’m Hiking, or, My Name is Pup and I’m a Tree Addict…

So, following the example of my fellow 2017 AT thru-hikers, I thought I’d set out what led me here, to this place where I’ve given up my job and my flat, and bought a one-way ticket to a foreign country to spend 6 months hiking and living out of a tent.  What larks!

Why The Appalachian Trail?

I’ve longed for a big adventure for as long as I can recall.  As a child I was much given to running around barefoot to toughen up my feet so that I’d be fully prepared to run away with any passing travelling circus or Romany caravan that might be persuaded to take me.  Sadly, or perhaps luckily, no such offer ever came.

Later, motherhood, university and work happened, but the stars were still tugging at my hair.  I spent a couple of years working in Colorado after graduation and learned that if there’s one thing America does well, it’s the great outdoors (And Lays potato chips.  Nom).  I had my first taste of mountains there and fell in love with them.   Just as I was warned, the mountains call you back…

So now my beautiful daughter is all grown up and the time is right to carpe the hell out of this diem.   In a delightful synchronicity, I’m also just about to enter my second year of Druid training, and I can’t think of a better way to start than to spend six months in the woods and mountains, filling up my soul.

Druids – not all beardy men

Why ‘Pup’?

Not just a trail name, but a nickname I’ve had for years.  Could this be because of:

  • A bouncy enthusiasm for nearly everything?
  • An inordinate fondness for biscuits?
  • An appetite to rival a labrador’s (even before I start hiking!)?
  • A love of walks?
  • A tendency to get very excited over small things?

Yes.  I suspect it’s all of the above.



I can’t wait to get my paws on the trail in April.  5 weeks and counting, see you out there I hope!



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