Just a girl from Delafield, WI that loves hiking-An Introduction
Hi! I’m Katie, and I live in Delafield, WI. I am hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2018. I’ll be a NOBO hiker, so hiking Georgia to Maine in about 5 months. I thought I would give a brief introduction of myself!
Growing up in Wisconsin has really seeded the foundation of my tastes; a lover of cheese curds, craft beer, whiskey and bourbon, my border collie/golden mix, Hunter, and outdoor activities. I turned 30 this summer and couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my 30th year on Earth than to start thru hiking the AT!
What lead me here?
Thru hiking has been something I have been considering for quite some time. A few years back instead of thru hiking the PCT, I did a few months on the road around the western US with my dog. We were backpacking in different national parks and forests. It was great, but didn’t satisfy me. I felt too exposed to society and still intertwined. I’ve spend the past year plus as a wilderness therapy guide, working in a national forest with 16-18 year old young men who had suffered from developmental trauma. While I loved working in the woods, hiking daily, and using the healing power of nature, I decided it was time to take some of that healing time to heal myself.
Why I’m hiking
I’ve always been sort of a ‘free spirit’ or ‘whimsical’ as some people in my life choose to describe me. I make big decisions…fast. I drop one thing and move onto the next faster than one goes from walking to running after stepping on a hornets nest. When I see opportunities and I seize them. This is really great but also very tiring. I am easily distracted by shiny objects (aka any opportunity that is new and exciting). I adapt fairly well but through all this, have a love of control. If I feel out of control, I feel anxious and an anxious Katie is not a fun Katie.
It’s time to slow down. The trail can do this for me. I can’t run onto the next thing because the next thing is just another day of trees and walking. Walking for days. Literally about 175. I hope to lose control and yet find peace in that. Giving it to nature and the universe to guide.
I’ve worked in the outdoor industry for quite some time in a number of different facets, but they never pay well and the hours are tough. The next 6 months until I leave, I will working two waitress jobs (one at a local long standing breakfast/lunch diner in town and a local irish tavern) and part-time and an outdoor retailer. From Thanksgiving to Christmas you can find my in New York City, Harlem, selling christmas trees! This is all to save up big bucks for the AT and for the wind down time after when I likely won’t want to work for a few weeks after, meaning I’ll likely want to sit at home, and share stories and pictures with friends pining for free beer from them in exchange for my enthusiastic dramatization of my journey.
ARE YOU DOING THIS ALONE?!
No. But it’s not because I’m scared/a female/can’t…etc! I have a great friend who was gonna do this anyways, too!
I have a friend/ex colleague of mine who is hiking to raise money for suicide awareness for veterans, as he himself is a combat vet. He is much better of letting go of control and is excited to take the control away from me and help “therapize” (read: force a friend into mental torment) me during this journey.
What do you get out of this?
I invite you to join along as I prepare mentally and physically and then on my journey from GA to ME next year! I’m hard headed, sarcastic and have absolutely no filter so I’m sure it will be quite the adventure for both myself and anyone reading this! Always available if you have questions! Until next time, happy trails!
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