Lesson Number One
Okay, so the epiphany arrives and I’ve now started to study about the AT. The more I study, the more intrigued I am. It is clear: I’ve got to do this!
How do I tell my wife? She’ll understand, just tell her.
So it goes something like this: “Bobbi, I had a weird epiphany… I want to do a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail.”
“HUH?” She says “Are you sure it was the epiphany that was weird?” “If you’ve gotta do it, you aren’t doing it alone!”
That went well, right? I should be able to find some nut to do it with me. Maybe I can find a variety of nuts to hike pieces of it with me… that means she’s okay with it, right?
First to call my brother Craig. He’s a year younger, retired and in really good shape…. maybe he’d be up for the challenge. The phone call, Virginia to Ohio, went something like this; “Craig, I had an epiphany, I’m gonna thru-hike the AT, but Bobbi says I can’t do it alone… wanna go? ”
“Huh? That’s kinda crazy, how far is it?”
I respond, “A bit over 2,000 miles.”
“Hmm, I’m not sure that’s gonna happen. Let me talk to Mary (his wife)” He says with strong feelings of doubt emanating…
A Variety of Nuts
That call didn’t go exactly as planned, but the seed was planted, and around a week or so later, I got the call I’d hoped for… He’s in! Great news, my brother’s a nut too! This was sometime in the Spring of 2012. We figured on waiting till the summer when I was on 4 day work weeks, meeting at my sister-in-laws in Lynchburg, Virginia, to do a 3 day hike. What better way to see what this thing would really be about? It was up to me to find an appropriate place.
Where’s a map? Just pick a spot where a highway crosses the AT and start your hike… easy! Ok, where in Virginia close to Lynchburg is a good spot for them to drop us? Here’s a good spot, Route 56 heading southbound. Looks like easy access to the AT, let’s go for 30-40 miles…..what’s the first shelter? Priest? Should be a decent trip.
Mistake #1… when you plan, have all the details in front of you, and don’t overestimate what you can do starting out, paper and reality aren’t even close when you’re talking about the AT.
Stay tuned, the hike up Priest SB is next?
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