Let Me Go Where I Feel Most Alive!

Hey ya’ll!  My name is Carol, or more commonly known as “Overload” on the trail.  I’m from South Carolina and I just can’t get enough of the mountains, so much so that it’s about time to make that trek (pilgrammage, really!) from Georgia to Maine.  I’m an avid hiker and mountaineer, with many miles under my feet in my lifetime.  I’m a biologist and the type of person that likes and needs to understand the scientific meaning behind everything in nature.  But, on the flipside I am a yogini, nature lover and truly believe in karma and that everything in life happens for a reason.  Being on a trail in the woods is truly where I feel most at home and most alive.

Sweet dreams are made of…

Ice Water Springs hike early ’90s – Great Smoky Mountain National Park – one of the places where it all began!!

Spending six months in the Appalachian mountain range has been a dream of mine since my first hike in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in 1993.  Yikes!  That’s a really long time ago!  Yes, I’m much older than your “typical” AT hiker, 36 to be exact.  I don’t fit the bill of a recent college graduate and I also don’t fall into the category of a recent retiree, but I’m sure there’s a place for me in this class of 2018 NOBO hikers, don’t you think?!

Six glorious (didn’t you mean grueling) months?!

There are going to be bug bites, toenails lost, poison ivy, mice, bats, bears, strange individuals (myself included), droughts, monsoons, snoring people, and other things I cannot even conjure up at the moment,

BUT…these six months are going to bring sunrises and sunsets that can’t be matched in any city, gracious and helpful trail angels and friends along the way, epic views, great conversations, an ability to reconnect with nature and a way to discover what really matters in life.

First time hiking to Charlies Bunion!

Trail amnesia?!

Science has proven that we hold onto our good memories and leave the bad ones behind to help us deal with unpleasant situations, adapt to changes in our environment and retain a positive outlook on life.  I can attest to this fact when it comes to hiking.  Every time I embark on a new hike I only seem to remember the highs from my previous trip and the lows (and every seasoned hiker knows there are some lows), they are erased from my memory.  Needless to say there are going to be countless highs and lows on this six month journey, as there are in life, but accomplishing any goal comes through hard work and last time I checked, anything worthwhile really wasn’t easy!

I look forward to truly living a “simple life” – fresh air, fresh water, tents & shelters, sleeping bags and minimal modern comforts, making great friends and gaining a “tramily.”  Every morning a mountain, every day a hike, and maybe if we’re lucky, every evening a campfire!


Young “Overload” at Charlies Bunion!

Thanks for following along on this “overloaded” adventure of mine!  You can find me on Instagram as “overloadsadventures” and on YouTube as Carol-Ann Copeland. 

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Comments 4

  • Kamakazee : Oct 15th

    You nailed it on how it makes a person feel. I remember my solo hikes up in the Colorado mountains and the Colorado Front range area, Gold Camp Road to Cripple Creek. Many times I’d just park the car, slap on a day pack and go, making my own trail for the day. The solitude and being one with nature was outstanding. I remember one long hike out in the wilderness, I just felt like someone or something was on my tail. I stopped once, looked at my back trail and there was either a dog, or Coyette looking at me, then he ran off into the scrub bushes I was hiking through. Weird. I personally like solitude as being around others tends to wear me out, just me! Being that I’m living back East now, you can’t hike any of the trails unless your running into a crowd so I normally get off the beaten path to really enjoy myself. Good luck on your upcoming thru hike.

    • Carol Copeland : Oct 15th

      Thank you for your kind words! I’m totally with you about hiking the East Coast trails and always running into a crowd. It happens every time! Having other hikers around is nice, but it can definitely drain me sometimes, but a day or so of hiking solo is a great way to regenerate. Happy hiking to you as well!

  • Christine (Nemophilist) : Oct 16th

    Hey Overload! Awesome post! I’ll be rooting for you and watching for your updates! Maybe I’ll even see you when I complete my hike next year: NY to Maine. Happy Trails! Nemophilist

    • Carol Copeland : Oct 16th

      Hey Nemophilist!! I was so surprised to see you commenting on my post! Wow! Thanks! It would be great to see you on the trek from NY to Maine. Hope you’re doing well on the AT now. I’ll have to take you up on a hike soon on the Foothills Trail! Have a great rest of your year!


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