The Makings of a Wannabe Thru-Hiker

I never wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail.

Why in the world would I spend six months in the woods with no shower, no makeup, no beer, carrying everything I own on my back? No sane person would do this.

Though I tried hard to shake them off, thoughts of the trail kept nagging me.

Wouldn’t it be so cool to see the country from backstage?

Can you imagine the strength you feel after overcoming such a feat of physical adversity?

You don’t really need makeup anyway… you’re pretty without it.

I started learning everything I could about hiking and gear and the trail and realized that I actually can do this. This decision was probably made over a couple whiskeys. You’ll learn that my worst decisions in life have been made over a couple whiskeys, but we’ll talk about that a little later.

I had a backpack and a dream that was materializing right in front of my eyes. While the trail started as just a spark of an idea, I’ve come to see my true reasons to take this hike.

Realize my strength

“Life is tough, my darling, but so are you.” – Stephanie Bennett-Henry

Get Closer to Nature

I’ve never been a God person, but I found myself sitting on a mountain in Colorado last summer writing in my journal when I looked up and saw the most magnificent sunset I had ever seen. The mountain in the distance was sucking in the clouds through its peak. The sky was light in one direction and the darkness of night was taking over in the other direction. No man could make something so stunning, so beautiful, so perfect. I was brought to tears as the final rays of sun shone through the clouds. It was then that I realized that God exists in the beauty all around us. I vowed to spend as much time as I could in the embrace of the trees and the mountains and the clouds and the water. Suddenly, nothing else mattered but that.

Run away from my problems

Not the best reason… but I’m being real. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I owe a lot of creditors money. I’ve been irresponsible with relationships. I’ve neglected adulthood. All of this catches up with you sooner or later, but my thinking was that if I kept ahead of the catching up, I’d be OK. This reason has changed since the original decision was made. I’m no longer running away from my problems, but I’m running toward a solution. I’m thinking about what skills this trail will give me to pick up the pieces of my life after it’s all said and done.

 Figure out the important things in life

Last July, I packed up all the belongings I needed, threw them in the trunk of my car, and hit the road to travel the country. This was the beginning of my quest to live more simply. I still had a lot of conveniences compared to what I’ll be taking with me on my trek, but I’m really excited to continue my quest to find a more simple and small life.

 Embrace the Suck

There are times when life sucks. Life is hard. We can either choose to give up or to keep fighting. Often in my life, I’ve been the girl who runs away with my tail between my legs at the first sign of hardship. I don’t want to be that girl anymore. There are times when the trail is going to suck. The payout of beautiful views, life experiences, and strong friendships will make it all worth it.

So here I am. With a crazy whiskey-breath idea, which turned into a dream, which turned into a plan. I’m so excited for you to share this insanely harebrained journey with me as I “trudge the road of happy destiny.” – Bill W.

Hop on in… it’s going to be a wild ride.

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Comments 12

  • Jim : Feb 5th


    I think it’s awesome what you are doing. I would like to follow you on your journey.


    • Anna : Feb 5th

      Thanks Jim! Excited to have you follow along! You can subscribe to my posts by clicking on my face at the top of the page and putting your email in. Or if you have Instagram I’ll be posting there more frequently. Just click on the camera icon below my name. 🙂

  • Karin : Feb 5th

    Hi Anna
    Looks as though you are already fit but can you tell me what you’ve done physically the last 9 months to train and prepare for this hike in March?

    • Anna : Feb 6th

      Great question! So I’ve been lucky enough to hike some glorious trails in the Rockies but where I’m from, the ground is pretty flat. I found some elevation to practice, but had to drive quite a ways. That’s about all I’ve done. Just load my pack up and get out where and when I could. I do know some people who pack up and go to the gym…use the treadmill or stair climber. I’m just not a gym person. I have made an effort to get out when it’s rainy too, because hiking in the rain is different than hiking on dry ground. The point, I think, is to just get out there and do whatever works for your body.

  • Victor : Feb 5th

    Nice to meet a local. I’m leaving a few days before you. Hope to run into you.

  • John B. Waugaman, Jr. : Feb 5th

    Best of times in your journey from another wannabe thru hiker. I love your attitude and free spirit. Enjoy the beauty’s of our creator and the wonderful people that fill the spaces in between.

    • Anna : Feb 6th

      Thanks John! I love that…the spaces in between!

  • Christina Crescimanno (Maybelline) : Feb 5th

    Hey Anna! I wore makeup on the trail (hence the Trail Name, Maybelline), and trust me, you will find plenty of beer along the way (and showers too)! Things will definitely suck at times, but I think that’s kind of the point – to commit to something even when it gets uncomfortable and we’re out of our comfort zones.

    • Anna : Feb 6th

      Couldn’t agree more! Cheers!

  • Ronald Springel : Feb 5th

    Bill and Dr Bob would be proud!

    • Anna : Feb 6th

      Love it!

  • Pat Jeckel : Feb 7th

    A friend of Dr. Bob and Bill cheering you on.
    Best of luck from Colorado


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