Please Allow me to Introduce Myself

Hey! I am super stoked that you found your way here on The Trek! I am excited to be here as well. That must mean we share something in common! Maybe it is a thrill for the outdoors, a desire for hiking, or are intrigued how people do thru-hikes for weeks or months at a time. Welcome to the community! This post has been a long time coming, so allow me to finally introduce myself! I am Mike and I will be attempting a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail starting February 19th. I am a NOBO, going to start in Georgia and work my way up to Maine. If I don’t get to see you out on the trail to introduce myself, introduce yourself in the comments below! I always love meeting new people, especially those interested and passionate about the outdoors.

Give me the Great Outdoors!

If the activity involves being outdoors, count me in! Me during early muzzleloader season in MD.

John Muir once said, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” In today’s fast-paced world with digital overload and distractions abound, it is challenging to quiet the mind, focus, and give time for self-reflection much less slow down to learn about and appreciate the ways in which nature can benefit us. Spending time in nature allows a person to focus inward. For me, being in nature clears my mind, soothes my soul, and helps put life into perspective. When in nature, I realize I am part of a larger whole. I have always loved spending time in nature for these reasons. I am interested in a lifestyle that our ancestors have lived for centuries, subsistence living. Our ancestors relied heavily on the outdoors for this lifestyle. Whether it is hiking, canoeing, camping, hunting, or fishing, it satisfies me, to be able to go out into woods for this purpose. It grounds me and I can feel their presence while I am out there, performing the same tasks they did long ago.

What I do for a Living

I am teacher. I teach sculpture, design, and woodworking to middle school boys at an all boys private school in Baltimore City and have been doing it for the last 15 years. This past year, I have started a Wilderness Education Club so I can share my knowledge and passion of the outdoors with our student community. The school is a great place and believes whole heartedly in professional development for the faculty. It is this reason that I am able to take off time in order to attempt my thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail. I applied last winter for a sabbatical which gives one teacher a paid semester off to pursue endeavors that otherwise could not be completed just during the summer months. By my shock, I won this prestigious award for this school year. The support I have felt from my colleagues, students, and parents has been very humbling and motivating.

The map that some teacher put up in the middle school lobby. Yep, that little person in the upper left is me. Made to look like the mountain climber in the famous The Price is Right game, they will move that little mountain climber along the trail as I progress.

The map above was put up in the middle school lobby where I work. As I stated, everyone is so supportive and very excited about my adventure. I love that this support allows me to talk to people about my passions. I find that there are so many others that have similar passions, but have never had the opportunity to get out there do them! One goal I have is to be able to inspire my students to be able to put fear aside and lean into discomfort.

I am a Maker

Not only do I teach both children and sometimes adults in sculpture, design, and woodworking, I practice it myself. I learned a lot when I attended college at Maryland Institute College of Art, but I see myself as a forever learner. While college gave me the basic skills, the drive was up to me. I want to learn as much as I can about a lot of different fabrication processes. What interests me is a traditional way of making objects such as furniture, spoons, bowls, ceramics, and baskets just to name a few. I can carve, knit, weave, weld, forge, and mold all by hand. I even make my own utensils for the trail! Keep an eye out for some hand carved utensils at some trail magic locations, I will be carving as I go along on my thru-hike! As I complete a utensil, I will leave for a fellow thru-hiker to use and enjoy.

Where I do All This Stuff!

I am from that tiny weird shape state known as Maryland, 45 minutes north or Baltimore City. I am leaving behind my very supportive wife and two growing boys (12 &8 years old.) Those two boys are my entire world and I know they are cheering me on from afar. I could not do any of this without their support and their willingness to jump right in on this idea. There was never any hesitation in their voices or trepidation in their eyes.

Follow Along with me on the Trail!

I am stoked for this journey! Please accompany me virtually as I go. I will be sharing with you my preparation work, experiences along the trail, reflective thoughts, and humor! Hope to see y’all out there on the trail one day soon! Please introduce yourself in the comment section down below.

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Comments 11

  • Chris : Jan 25th

    Hello Fellow Marylander! Montogomery County checking in!

    I’m not sure if this still happens or not, but a number of years ago someone was leaving hand carved spoons on the AT. They would just be out for hikers to find, enjoy and be inspired. It’s cool to hear that you’ll basically be doing the same thing.

    Good luck! I’ll be following along.

  • Chuck : Jan 25th

    I will be looking forward to following along with you .
    I love the outdoors, I have done a lot of hiking but have only stayed overnight on the trail for two night. My dream is to thru hike spring of 2025. I will be 68 then but I have gotten a lot of inspiration from older people that have done the hike. I wife is not real keen on me doing this but we will see how that turns out.

  • Ben "Paladin" Cox : Jan 25th

    Looks like you are all set for your AT NOBO thru hike, Michael! Also being from Maryland (Harford County), I might see you out there. I have a couple AT shakedown hikes planned to prep for a trip out west later in the year. Have fun out there.


  • Phyllis : Jan 25th

    You are truly an inspiration to young and old alike! Be safe and prayers to you and your family!

  • Jim Harner : Jan 25th

    Hey, Michael looking forward to following your trek. My wife is from Baltimore and we currently live just outside of Harpers Ferry, WV. I plan to section hike 50 miles of the trail in May. Good luck, happy trails. Maybe we will see you out there.

    • John Chantrill : Jan 25th

      Good luck with your Nobo thru hike. I live in maine so will look forward to hearing from you when you get here. Safe travels!

  • Charlotte : Jan 25th

    I’m excited to follow you. I’m going to begin my thru hike in 2025. I turn 70 that year. So your trail tales will definitely be an inspiration!

  • Tom : Jan 25th

    Nothing like using the old smokepole in the woods. Definitely will follow a fellow outdoorsman. Good luck Michael, I’ll be following along.

  • jen l : Jan 25th

    Oh wow, stoked to follow your journey. I’m a teacher in VT and hope to get a travel award for something like this down the line. Enjoy the anticipation and prep. What an exciting yet intense time. Peace out for now,

  • Melanie : Jan 26th

    Pleased to meet you!! I’m down in South Carolina!! I wish you the best and am anxious to be a part of your hike. I hiked 140 miles of the AT back in 2022. My hiking buddy didn’t want to walk anymore, so mine was cut short, but it was the greatest experience of my life (and I’ve done some pretty incredible things!!) . Also, my dad is a very experienced with the scroll saw and we both woodburn, and I paint!!! Your sins will be wonderful Trail magic!! Enjoy your hike and stay warm and safe!! The wind can get super crazy up there so hold on tight!!!

  • Mary : Jan 26th

    Your passion is infectious! I am looking forward to reading your posts and I will be cheering you on with your students. My bucket list has the AT on it and I just need that push. Best of luck and my God walk with you.


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