It has come to my attention that through all of this “preparation” in gear, mail drops, etc. I have missed the most important, and that is to list reasons why I’m hiking the Appalachian Trail. I thought I’ll share it with everyone although new reasons will come to me everyday I’m out there.
1. Heal my mind – drop all other efforts, completely focus on my personal responsibilities. A lot of time to myself will reconnect me with what matters and allow me to open my mind to many things that will make me smile.
2. Teach me so many lessons – I’m 18, I still have some living to do and solo hiking the A.T. will require me to make decisions on my own and teach me how to “live in the moment”.
3. Meet different people – This is a big one, and I think this is kinda what it’s about. Encountering people on my own will allow me to open up more and give me confidence in myself. Not just people hiking but the people that give me a hot shower and a big meal! Or even the people that pick me up when I hitch to town! (kidding mom)
4. I’ve met 2 thru hikers on the AT, doing overnighters or weekend trips and the STORIES they have are never ending. Encountering them would give me so much inspiration. They were the raddest dudes ever. Maybe I will inspire a kid on trail or at a shelter like I was. Or inspire anybody, that is a really good feeling.
5. I’m not sure what I want in life, but this is a huge achievement, and it wouldn’t look bad on a resume.
6. One feeling I never get in the middle of the city, or in a town, or even out in the sticks where I live, I don’t feel free. Out there, it’s freedom. Nobody judging, just you, the mountains and the fellow thru hikers who also feel free.
7. Being apart of that hiker tribe, is a good feeling as well. Nomads, with a destination.
8. As Zach Davis, the author of Appalachian Trials would say, “Life is short, do awesome shit, stupid.”
9. Hopefully encounter a Sasquatch, not a believer until I see him. Also, a black bear!
10. To get away from this society of materialistic greed, to be separated from the distractions of opinions and judgment, especially those that come from the television, to get away from the evil eye of the CIA! HAHA
11. To look back, when I get to Katahdin, 2,179.2 miles later, and say “I did it.”
12. To realize just how small we are in this universe. I don’t like feeling inferior. If nature wanted to kill me, she could. She is bigger than me, but that doesn’t scare me because I treat the earth with respect.
13. Find just how great we have it here, go to the sink if you want water, go to the bathroom in a toilet, drive 50 miles. On the Appalachian Trail, your filtering your water, doing your buisness in the woods, and I’ll be walking 2,179 miles in 6 months, driving that would take you 20 hours.
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