Movin’ Ahead So Life Won’t Pass Me By

Who Am I?

My name is Caleb. I am 21 years old (22 when I hit the trail), and I am just a typical dude almost out of college longing for an adventure. I have always loved adventuring, traveling, and doing outdoor stuff such as running, hiking, biking, and camping. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy indoor activities, I am a huge movie junkie and I am obsessed with the NBA. Also, I am basic and love The Office, and my guilty pleasure is binge-watching Family Guy. I currently work at the Civic Center in my hometown, saving up money before I hit the trail this April!

Why Am I Hiking?

 I am a soon-to-be graduate from Southeast Missouri State University. Thinking about graduating college is incredible, but also intimidating. If I wasn’t attempting the Appalachian Trail this April, I would be absolutely terrified, because, as unfortunate as it is, I still don’t really know what the crap I want to do with my life. College was supposed to show me that, but apparently I am a late bloomer in that department. I switched my major to social sciences last year when I realized I didn’t want to be a teacher for the rest of my life, and when I found out that this meant I could graduate a semester earlier than planned (December 2019) the thought of attempting a traditional NOBO thru-hike was etched into my brain and has been there ever since.

I have been preparing to hike this dang trail for over a year now, and even after a year of planning, researching, and dreaming, I still feel just as excited, if not more, as I did when I first decided I wanted to attempt it in October of last year. That right there is the biggest reason why I am doing this trek. I have never felt so passionate about anything in my life until I decided I was going to hike this trail. The fact that this burning motivation is still here after a year assures me that I must do this. This is not an impulsive decision from a temporary passion. I am known for those. I will get on a minimalist kick and clean my room and sell clothes for about a week or so, and then I am back to my normal, somewhat messy self. I will buy healthy food and eat like a nutrition angel for a week, and then lose motivation and go back to eating fast food and chips. This Appalachian Trail kick has been going strong for approximately 56 weeks now, so I think it’s safe to say that I need to do this.

Now We Wait

It would be foolish not to listen to this feeling, this obsession. I will graduate college in December, so I am already in a transitional period of my life. I have already obtained 95% of my gear. Basically, the only thing left to do now is wait for April 7 to come. Only 134 days left to go, but who’s counting?

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Comments 7

  • Paul Fliege : Nov 24th

    This is awesome! I can’t wait to follow you on your adventure, Caleb. You get one lifetime to fill with great memories – what could be better than this?

  • Karen B : Nov 24th

    I love hearing your plans about the AP trail. I have always wanted to walk this trail and I am excited for you. Good luck and we will be cheering you on

  • Ashley : Nov 25th

    Very excited for you Caleb! You need to vlog it too!

  • Fixie : Nov 25th

    Excited to follow your trek on the trail! I understand your passion and excitement and good for you for planning to do this early in life. I have had the desire to do this since the age of 18–my desire has not wavered. I am now retired and 60 years old. I now plan to thru hike the AT in 2021. I will be looking forward to following you as you make this journey!

    • Caleb Bess : Nov 26th

      18 years, I bet you are about to go crazy! 2021 will be here soon enough… thanks Fixie!

  • John Waugaman : Nov 26th

    Looking forward to your adventure Caleb. My son lives in Cape and has heard me speak often of my desire to do the AT. Congratulations on finishing college and don’t worry about what you want to be or do, those will fall in place soon enough. I am an Army veteran and have been an educator for 20+ years and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up….. Oh, wait, I want to hike the Appalachian Trail. Hike on Caleb and let life come to you.

    • Caleb Bess : Nov 26th

      Small world! Yes I agree, I think everything will pan out, as for now it’s time to go on a hike. Thank you John!


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