Hiking SOBO and Meeting the Crowd Head-On
“Why are you hiking the AT?”
The question of all questions, am I right? There have been many different answers I’ve heard, but there have also been times when people did not have a specific answer. I respect both responses and encourage everyone to live their best life as long as they are happy. I have my reasons for trekking the AT and my reasons for doing it southbound (SOBO). However, it did take me a minute to think of specific reasons other than why not?
Why I Am Hiking the AT
–First and foremost, I absolutely love hiking, from walking trails to strenuous inclines.
–It is a top three bucket list item next to “hug a bear” and “make a difference” (which if I am lucky enough, I could cross off all three ;D).
–My boyfriend,Dane, and I have been talking about wanting to attempt it for years. About three months ago (yes, three months) we decided we were going to seriously prepare and complete it this June 2018.
–We both graduated college (me 2017, him 2018) and have yet to start careers. We decided this is the perfect time before we settle down into the 9-5 life.
–On a more sentimental note, I have been through a lot in my life where, at times, it has been a struggle to keep a positive attitude. Completing the AT will be soul cleansing and a new beginning.
–I crave the challenge and this is only the beginning.
–I want to complete it to show everyone that anything is possible as long as they set their mind to it. My biggest motivation is thanks to all those on the autism spectrum and others with special needs. My love for helping and supporting others is almost as great as my love for hiking.
–Last one, I promise, but this is a big step for me to be leaving my house. More importantly, I’m leaving my mom who happens to be my best friend. Doing this scares the hell out of her, but I want to show her that I will be OK and no matter where I am, she is on my mind and in my heart.<3
Why I Am Hiking SOBO
–I live in Connecticut and have hiked a lot around New England.
–We want to face the toughest part of the trail first to have more of a “walk in the park” (pun intended) as we trek in the South.
–Even though we have to start later, we don’t have to be rushed to reach an end date.
–Dane has family two hours away from the Southern Terminus. We will be taking a mini vacation just maxin’ relaxin’.
–It is a lot more common to see NOBO hikers than SOBO hikers and we are people who like to go against the crowd. (Not to say it wouldn’t be cool to someday go NOBO for a different experience. Hmm.)
Today marks exactly two weeks until we set off for Katahdin (insert excited girl screech here). I figured I’d share my “Why I’m Hiking” not only for others but for myself. Whenever I feel like calling it quits, I’ll come back to this post to remind myself of all the great reasons I wanted to take on this challenge in the first place. Hope to see many of you on the trail (and hopefully by then I’ll have a trail name).
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