No Regrets

As a middle aged woman I like things calm and quite, boring even.  I am a planner.  This hike is a huge leap from the safe, predictable life that I usually work towards.  It was not on a whim that four years ago I told my boss that I would be leaving in 2016 to hike the AT.  I have dreamed of thru hiking since I was a young girl, but life got in the way.

As I age my experiences continue to shape and change me.  Over the past several years I have watched my husband’s parents lose themselves and any dreams they may have had in their younger years.  They ‘played it safe’ and ‘followed the rules’ and now they have missed their chance.  Alzheimers and dementia have taken who they once were away.

I set my start date for my 50th birthday- when I decided I wanted something different for my life however long or short it might be.

None of us know when or how our lives on this earth will end, or when the slow decline of age will eventually make it impossible to follow our hearts or work towards our goals.  All we can do is live in the present while still dreaming of the future.

I am still a cautious person, planning and preparing,  but will not go into my twilight years quietly or with regrets.  I want my children and grandchildren to see, in me, what is possible when you are open to every opportunity that this wonderful gift of life has to offer each and every one of us.

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Comments 25

  • Avatar
    Rafi Johnson : Jan 6th

    You’re an inspiration. You always have been. This only makes it more so. I love you.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      MorningLori : Jan 7th

      <3 love you back <3

      Reply
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    Henry Miller : Jan 7th

    I worry about age related problems everyday.

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      MorningLori : Jan 7th

      I try not to ‘worry’ but it is definitely a consideration when I am making plans!

      Reply
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    Michele : Jan 7th

    Good luck to you and enjoy every minute of it. When you make it to the Appalachian Trail museum ask for Michele. Would love to meet you!

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    • Avatar
      MorningLori : Jan 7th

      Thanks Michelle, I look forward to meeting you. I will mark it down in my AT Guide 🙂

      Reply
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    Lisa MacKillop : Jan 7th

    I’m also hoping to hike when I turn 50 in a few years for the exact same reasons! I will be cheering.

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    • Avatar
      MorningLori : Jan 7th

      Thank you and best of luck!!!

      Reply
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    mike : Jan 8th

    Lorene, if you make it to N.H., be sure to call us. My wife and myself are part of the Norwich, Vt.- Hanover, N.H. Trail Angles Group. We pick you up, give you dinner and breakfast and a place to do laundry and a shower and a roof over your head for the night. This will be our 3rd year doing this and we enjoy doing it. My wife, linda also grew up on the coast of Maine, (Freeport).
    Good luck on your hike and hope to hear from you!!!

    Reply
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      MorningLori : Jan 8th

      What a wonderful thing to look forward to!!! I believe Linda and I may have mutual friends on facebook. I think Kestrel and Venus may have stayed with you this past year and I noticed the connection. Thank you!!

      Reply
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    Kathy McKinney : Jan 8th

    I love your guts out and am so extremely proud of you. So proud to call you my friend! I’ll see you somewhere in Pennsylvania!

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    • Avatar
      MorningLori : Jan 8th

      <3

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    Siobhan (Drop Bear) : Jan 10th

    Hi. I read this and thought ‘ I know that woman’. And I was right. I met you and Norman at a shelter, I think in the Hundred Mile Wilderness, when we had both stopped in for a break. I am the Australian. I remember you telling me you planned to hike for your 50th. I also remember Norman being pretty excited by chipmunks! So pleased to hear you will be thru hiking. You will have an awesome time. Cheers Siobhan (Drop Bear)

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      MorningLori : Jan 10th

      Yes, we did meet this fall! Are you home in Australia?

      Reply
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    Phyllis Tydings : Jan 10th

    I too turn 50 this year & have been dreaming of doing thru hike. I live near Charlotte & would love to bring some trail magic to you while you’re in NC or southern Va. Maybe even hike a section with you if I’m healthy by then. Best of luck. I’m cheering for you.

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      MorningLori : Jan 10th

      That would be wonderful. 🙂 hope you are healthy and hitting the trails soon

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  • Avatar
    Barb : Jan 10th

    Will you be blogging your hike? I would like to follow it if you are.
    Good luck to you!

    Reply
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      Sandra Moore (Kennedy on fb) : Jan 10th

      I am a 62-year-old woman, married to a non-outdoorsy guy, retired, and I have severe heart disease. The AT has been on my Bucket List for years. Since I can’t do a thru-hike (this year, they say)…I am going to begin in late May, probably in Harpers Ferry, WV and hike North to ??? I will do a 4-day hike and, due to my health situations, I am trying to find one of the locals around Montana to hike with me. So far, no luck but I do have interest from a guy I know from being in the USNR back in the 70’s and am still friends with him. Another male friend is wanting to go, but we will see how he feels after all of the reading and research he is doing. I have read a lot of books, “Appalachian Trials” is my favorite “go-to” book. I met my family, first time, from WV last summer and would love to see them again, maybe somewhere along the route they will come to see me. I did invite one of my cousins and he is thinking about it also. Loved reading your post and sent my email so I can get your updates. Be safe and have a great time. After all, that is one of the most important reasons for doing this…along with being so proud of you for attempting to do this hike and walking the walk. Congratulations for your decision! Travel Angels are watching over you. SO VERY PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!

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    • Avatar
      MorningLori : Jan 10th

      Yes I am planning on updating often. I also have an online journal at trailjournals.com/morninglori

      Reply
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    Karen Earle : Jan 10th

    I just turned 63 and I’m in the planning stage of doing the AT. I enrolled in the Appalachian Trail Institute here in NC to learn all I can to make my hike more pleasurable and experience all I can.

    I’m a mother of three and i have 4 wonderful grandchildren. Been married for 39 years and I have the full support of my husband. I think he’s just as excited as I am to get on the trail.

    Good luck Lori on a wonderful adventure of a life time.

    Reply
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      Sandra Moore (Kennedy on fb) : Jan 10th

      Hi Karen:

      I also am following Lori. I have been in the Planning stage for my Section Hike beginning in late May or the third week of May 2016. Coming from MT on Amtrak to Harpers Ferry, WV or Atlanta. I have read so much great information on gear and the trail and have been given wonderful gifts like a compass, which I will learn to use from REI next week, line and straps for my Hammock with bug netting attached, an AquaMira Filtering Bottle, Stuff Sacks, and other great items that I will use. Hammocks are very lightweight and you do not have to be on the ground or in a shelter that is already overcrowded. I do like tenting, but I have to be extra careful of the weight of my pack. I have hiked around some of the mountains here in MT, with my pack at 18 pounds, and I didn’t even know that I was carrying any weight. Still trying to find info on weather in May and early June, but believe that I will wear pretty much what I wear when I long distance walk around here. Long undies, wool socks, rain pants, cycling pants, Salomon hikers and maybe attach my regular walking shoes to my pack, and always my Engo Blister packs, just in case. I am thinking that I will begin in Harpers ferry, WV and hike North (or South), but also have a plan for beginning at Springer Mountain and hiking North (not that excited about this part due to the crowds of people hiking at the same time). Received my Bug Screen (mosquito netting) and Hat yesterday for the mosquitoes and no-see-ums on the trail. I even bought a great Umbrella that attaches to your backpack as I have to wear my glasses and they are not equipped with windshield wipers:) I read a book from a gal that thru-hiked the AT and the umbrella was a great thing to have through “The Green Tunnel” part in Virginia. As for me, I do not have any expectations of weather, bears, equipment failures, or other hikers with me (or actually anything)…this is a must-do on my Bucket List and I KNOW that my heart will do this, and it is something that will be an awful LOT OF FUN!!!! My attitude is great and I hope that you are having a good time along the way. Safe Travels and I am sending Angels to watch over you and your buddy! Is he/she hiking with you? Cute dog! I hope to hear from you regarding some of your adventures from your beginning point. You are VERY LUCKY to have the support of your husband and kids. That is amazing. You WILL do great!! Karen, You ROCK! I am so very proud of you for doing this…

      Reply
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      MorningLori : Jan 10th

      So happy for you Karen! If you haven’t already, start a journal! The planning is part of the journey <3

      Reply
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    Patti Yarbrough : Jan 10th

    You are starting your thru hike on your 50th b’day and I hope to finish mine on my 60th b’day! My husband and I will be NOBO, starting Feb. 14. Best of luck to you, hope to meet you on the trail.

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      MorningLori : Jan 10th

      Hope to see you out there! Stay warm, MorningLori ps love your trail names

      Reply
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    Deb S : Jan 10th

    I will starting my section from Springer Mtn me d to late May 2016! I know this is my year to get as many sections in as possible! This is my 60 year and I am so looking forward to this! I would like to meet or talk to others that may be hiking AT for the first time Solo at this point!

    Reply

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