We left Friday and rented a cabin about 15 minutes from Amicalola Falls State Park.  Saturday, the park was having the annual A.T. Kick-Off. Reps from different local outfitters, alumni of the trail, all different kinds of people. It was cool to be surrounded by people that all love doing the same thing and that care about the trail, being around that made me feel good. The whole weekend, being with my family I felt at home and safe. Honestly, it was amazing having my brothers together, road trips with them remind me of a great place in my mind. Sunday morning came and I felt like I wasn’t starting the Appalachian Trail. I actually had came down with a cold. My nose was stuffy and my throat was sore. I thought to myself, all the research hours didn’t prepare me for what I was about to do. I started thinking about the miles, and my family, and all the things I would really miss… already?!

I kept thinking about the 6 months I would be without them. I would think about how big of a deal it was to be away for the first time for that long. My family was crying, out of worry for me before I started up the Approach Trail (which didn’t help but very reasonable!). I got probably 300 yards up trail and I called my mom to wait for me because I was coming back down. A lot of different emotions and thoughts were running through my head. I was drained. I didn’t have the motivation I had for the  last 9 months. I knew I was prepared, I knew that I could do this but am I ready for this? My answer at that moment was absolutely not, I love my family and it’s selfish of me to leave my mom and brother at home and cause worry within her and the rest of the family.

We drove to TN, and visited my cousin Mallory and her husband Roberts house. I felt like I couldn’t really think about this decision until I was home, on my own. We got home on Monday and I feel like poop, no doubt a very bad sinus infection. I can barely hear, there is so much pressure in my head. Every time I swallow, I feel like I’m swallowing a handful of sharp objects. Not good. Besides my sickness, were home and I get time to really think about this. The trail is still there, it is waiting for me. So many drop boxes are in my room, my pack is still packed because I’m not giving up. I try to sit and figure out what I can do, or what I want to do. After talking with my mom, I feel more confident about leaving home. I know that my brother will go to school, get out of school and have a great summer. I know that I won’t be here forever, and for some reason I felt like I didn’t want to miss anything with my family. Maybe it was me still holding on to my childhood, or maybe it was me overthinking me being “gone”.  Either way, I had to let it go. The trip to Georgia with my family happened for a reason. I’ve come to peace with the fact that life happens, and everything happens for a reason so I need to go with my HEART and HIKE this dam thing!

After considering all of my options – taking a train back down/bus OR talking to my good friend Michael Elliot about possibly taking a trip down to Georgia after this sinus infection passes. I am sticking with my plan but backing it up a wee bit. Everything happens for a reason. Every thought that goes through us is simply a journey to ourselves. I’m not giving up on this because their is nothing I want more in my life.


PS: I wanna thank everybody for all the support and prayers, you guys have no idea how much that means to me. Motivation is awesome and so inspiring. Thanks guys


With determination & inspiration,


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Comments 2

  • hoba : Mar 12th

    IMHO, this is a little early to start the trail, especially with the cold that is still coming down from the north. I hiked thru a little snow in the Smokies last year and I started March 27th.
    Maybe the Gods were looking out for you.


  • Kim : Mar 13th

    Chris, I am with you all the way. Your decision to wait was a good one. Pneumonia could have set in… Anyhow, I want you to know that your journey has spearheaded another journey… MINE! So take heart that your actions are touching many people in a positive way. You will know when the time is right and it is then that you will leave.


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