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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