Just when I thought I was out…
…the Trail pulls me back in.
(I don’t know what the triple-word-score equivalent for an Appalachian Trials Blog is, but finding a way to incorporate a Godfather reference into a hiking blog should be worth at least a Snickers or two… just saying.)
Hiking the AT: Take 1
The summer of 2014, I returned home from the AT feeling satisfied with the 700 mile section I had just completed. I met
bizarre inspiring people, hiked over several challenging “bumps,” and rediscovered the lower half of my body. Another item checked off my bucket-list.
Hiking the AT: Take 2
By the time I tired of playing with my Christmas gifts and the New Year’s hangover faded, I developed what I can only describe as a deep itch in my chest. I became restless, city-living became unbearable. I knew I had to do something when I found myself missing the taste of pasta sides. So I returned to Amicalola Falls and hiked until the itch went away (only to be replaced by the even more irritating itch of poison ivy). More amazing friendships, the “bumps” we’re still challenging, and my belly disappeared again. When I returned home, I promised my wife that I was ready to shift my priorities back to bucket-list items that we could do together.
Hiking the AT: Take 3
I managed to ignore the itch for several months. I tried to ignore those nagging questions about whether New Hampshire was as brutal as I’d heard. I was sure I could fly over the Pennsylvania rocks with the dexterity of a mountain goat. I was barely envious (on the outside) of the sense of accomplishment I saw on the faces of friends that stayed the course all the way to Katahdin.
So here I am at Amicalola Falls for the third time, staring up at 600 stairs and feeling the refreshing mist of the falls to my right. I pause before climbing, knowing that no one was forcing me to begin this 6 month journey. For example, strolling the beaches in Hawaii would probably be nice. But I’ve got this itch. And this time I’m not going to stop until I get to Katahdin.
Hello, my name is Gabe and I’m a Hikophile.
(By the way, I just looked up Hikophile on Google and there were no results, so I’m totally claiming credit for inventing a new word AND a disease AND… AND I know how to treat this brand new disease. Just take a hike).
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.