Reasons Why

If you’ve read Zach Davis’ Appalachian Trials you will probably remember his early advice; “Write down your reasons for wanting to hike the AT.

That is really good advice but its a little harder to do than you might think.  Being 64 years old and having three back surgeries and contracting limbic encephalitis, my first thought was simply; “Can I physically do this?”  After that came what I think are probably shared reasons for attempting a through hike; love of adventure, love of the out doors, meeting new people, getting all Thoreauish or even Yogi Berra like, “When you come to a fork in the road you should take it.”

Those are all valid reasons(well maybe not Yogis)but didn’t get to the core of what I’m hoping to do.

I’ve always been an in the moment type. When I hiked the El Camino de Santiago del Norte there were many occasions where I had to stop and absorb the surroundings, the history, the sense of pilgrimage.  Then it was back on the trail.  When I got home I was frequently asked for specific stories about the hike.  I couldn’t relate that way.  I remember the essence of the hike, but not the specifics.  And it dawned on me that the specifics of a persons life are important to remember.  Not that a person should live in the past, but that a person should use specific events of the past to help recall what made those events so special.

So what I want to do on this trip is remember details of each day and to sift through past events in order to be able to share the formative times of my life so far.

I’m heading NOBO in late February.  Until then I’ll be posting what I’m doing to prepare.

Some early posts may be a little cranky because I’m quitting smoking.

Gotta go, Mr Nicorette is calling.

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Comments 2

  • George : Dec 15th

    All the best. You’ll really enjoy it. I just completed my SOBO hike with my 23 year old son (I’m 61). It was a wonderful experience. I kept a journal and tried to fill it out each day, because I am like you and quickly forget specifics, remembering the overall experience.

    Do you have a start date yet?

  • Ed Larkin : Dec 15th

    Thanks George

    If the weather cooperates I’m looking at Feb.25.

    Did you and your son have the same pace or did you use the “we’ll let the trail reconnect us ” method?

    Congrats to you both.


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