Hey! I’m excited to share my Appalachian Trail adventures with you. I’m currently residing in my hometown of Mount Vernon, OH. Besides packing and getting ready to leave in April, you can catch me pigging out on tasty food and binge watching my favorite shows Trailer Park Boys and Archer……….call Kenny Loggins because I’m in the DANGERZONE!!!!
I was in the Marines for seven years, which consisted of being stationed in North and South Carolina, California, and Tennessee. I also deployed to Iraq in 2003-2004. My plan after being honorably discharged in 2008 was to go to school like everyone else, and decide what I wanted to be when I grow up. Little did I know how hard it was to adjust to civilian life.
I worked a couple “good” jobs for the Government, but all the time I was wishing something would come along that I would just love to do. That is when I started hiking on my own regularly. I couldn’t stand hiking while in the Marines since being a towering 5’6 made it hard to keep pace with everyone taller than me. But once I started hiking the Smoky Mountains, I fell in love with the whole experience. I decided to quit my job in 2012 which was the same year I lost the most important person to me, my Grandpa. Now I’ve lost Marine friends and friends in the civilian world, but losing the man that taught me so much was something that is still hard to get over. Alzheimer’s Disease can kiss my ass.
Since his passing, my past two years have been filled with dead end jobs, bad relationships, and a lot of shame and resentment. Hell, I repeated the cycle so often these past two years my trail name should be rinse and repeat! But it has got to the point where I don’t know who I’m looking at in the mirror anymore, I know I need to make a change. So I researched and planned, then started telling everyone that I’m going to hike the Appalachian trail. After getting the “usual” questions to such a conversation starter, it left me more motivated to completing this journey. I just want to thank my family and friends that have supported my choice to go be selfish for 6 months and find the old happy Nate.
What I want to get from this journey is self reflection, self improvement, and my old motivation. I’m honored to share my experiences with you, and I hope to make many new friends along the way. I start my journey April 6th.
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