So you think you can make it to Katahdin?

What a crazy way to want to spend 6 months especially for someone who is 40 lbs. overweight, a type 2 diabetic, and a full time desk jockey for a regional insurance adjusting firm and all during a pandemic. Do not get me wrong, we hike as much as we can but hiking almost everyday for 6 months is a lot to think about. Why would someone want to do that? Chicken and I have discussed this extensively and we have both come up with several reasons that we, as individuals, would like to make this journey. We will start with his reasons which I found profound and quite surprising coming from a 15 year old.

Chicken Chance’s 3 main reasons to hike the Appalachian Trail:

His desire to create an even stronger bond between him and me. (Is that even possible? Unusual desire of a teenager but I will take it!)

The strength he will attain and the maturity, both physically and mentally. (What? Who is this kid?)

He believes, by being separated from the normal distractions of life, i.e. video games & TV, etc., that he will grow closer to God. (How amazing!)

Chicken Chance’s thoughts on failing to make it from GA to ME:

He recognizes the sense of defeat he would feel if he decided to quit along the way. He is in this to win this. In fact, he will likely be the one coaching me along on the hard days when I cry and say I want to go home.

I can just see it now; it’s raining cats and dogs. The temperature is hovering just above freezing and the wind is blowing sideways. We still have 14 miles to go and most of it is uphill. I think I am gonna die. His comforting words of encouragement will be there to help me through.  “Mom, you can make it!” have pulled me through so many times when I seriously did not think that I could. He is not in this to quit. He has full faith that we can make it. Even when I try to throw him some real tough scenarios of situations we may face, hard situations, he believes that we can overcome. So, I am going to give it a go!

Now, my reasons for wanting to hike the Appalachian Trail are many. Some reasons are very personal and deep and some for the sake of health and vanity.

Dumplin’s reasons for wanting to hike the AT:

Walking myself right out of Type 2 Diabetes is the plan. I’ve been told by my doctor that with diet and exercise I can reverse this condition. There is no rush but what a great way to get fit. Let’s do it!

The realization that my body will adjust to the miles and my metabolism will certainly level out is true, but before it does… Hello sexy momma!

Understanding the selflessness of trail magic, both from hiker to hiker and from the average joe to the hiker is one of my deepest desires. To love like that and to be selfless like that. I desire to find a place within me that wants to do good to/for others without a return and without the need for recognition.

Overcoming when it is hard and completing something that I start.

Freedom, real freedom.

A disconnect from the mainstream societal roles and find a place of contentment living out of a backpack or two.

What will happen if I fail to finish my thru hike?

That seems so nauseating to me at the moment but only because I am sitting at my desk in the ease of this comfy office chair and I am still in dreamland about the AT. I know it’s a fact that there will be moments when I want to quit. There will be moments when Chicken wants to quit. All I can offer at this moment, as an encouragement to continue, is to believe that I can do whatever I am created to do. So, if hiking the AT is my jam, I am going to make it to Katahdin.

 

I look forward to sharing our victories and defeats with you guys along the way. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, we are headed out in late February or early March.

Our gear choices may be different than others but we are sharing the load and this lessens the need for the weigh-fear that I see so many others struggle with. We will not be going ultralight but instead, we will be going in peace. If a piece of gear is within our budget and fits what we need, even if it weighs 1 lb more, we will carry it. We can always change our minds later but for now… we will let peace lead us.

We are scheduled for a shake down hike of the approach trail shortly and will get a real taste of those Georgia mountains. It’s hard to say how we will feel after we complete it. But we will certainly be here to share it.

Stay tuned and be safe!

The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places..” ~Habakkuk 3:17-19.

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Comments 17

  • Avatar
    Detox : Dec 29th

    Walking your way out of T2D is definitely a thing. I was diagnosed in sept 16. At my mar 19 physical doc said not even prediabetic. Don’t underestimate the importance of diet. I went HFLC first couple of years, lost 60-70 lbs and now do periodic keto, interspersed with “normal” eating and the occasional ice cream binge. Sounds like you and your son have a wonderful relationship. See you out there!

    Reply
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      Dumplin : Dec 29th

      Wow! Thanks for that confirmation Detox! I knew it must be possible. Looking forward to seeing you out there as well!

      Reply
    • Avatar
      n : Jan 3rd

      I am quite sure that no one will be grading your grammar on the trail, but please note that your impending adventure will strengthen the bond “between him and ME.”

      I admire and respect your desire to blaze new trails. One of my “quests” is to acquaint people with proper English grammar. Not as exciting as hiking the Appalachian but, in some respects, it is the more difficult and quixotic quest. Godspeed.

      Reply
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        Chicken & Dumplin : Jan 3rd

        What an incredibly difficult journey that you have taken upon yourself! 😁

        Reply
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        Susan : Jan 5th

        Seriously?? Give me a break.

        Reply
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    pearwood : Dec 30th

    I love your trail names.

    I have thought of those closing verses from Habakkuk many times as I have watched my AT NOBO get pushed back from 2020 to 2021 and likely to 2022.

    Between the two of you I think you have what it takes to make it.

    Blessings,
    Steve / pearwood

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Chicken & Dumplin : Dec 30th

      Thank you for your kind words. Hope to see you out there this year!

      Reply
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    Sunny : Dec 30th

    Great post! You guys are in for an epic adventure beyond your dreams. On my 2019 hike I came upon a few mom and son teams. How sweet to see their dependence on each other and some had matching tattoos they got before the hike. You will cherish each day the LORD gives! I think I can speak for all hikers that we get excited when someone buys their gear and sets the date to begin a long walk. Blessings on you two!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Chicken & Dumplin : Dec 30th

    Thank you so much! We are both looking forward to it with fear and excitement!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Hazelnut : Jan 2nd

    Looking forward to following your journey! Proverbs 3:5&6 was my theme verse for my 2016 thru-hike.
    Blessings!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Chicken & Dumplin : Jan 2nd

      Love that! It’s my daily verse!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Nightingale : Jan 2nd

    Beautifully written! I’ll be looking forward to reading about y’alls journey in the future! Until then just know with enough faith you can do anything! But if it’s not God’s will, you’ll know it and have no reason to be down if things don’t happen like you thought they would. His plans for you are perfect. 😊 Just trust, hope, and have faith!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Chicken & Dumplin : Jan 2nd

      Solely relying on His direction πŸ™‚

      Reply
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    Di : Jan 2nd

    Here’s to hoping you always go downhill with the wind at your backs! You will have an experience that will fill you up. You two will make it with bells on.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Chicken & Dumplin : Jan 3rd

      In dry weather with just enough clouds to shade us when needed and the occasional uphill to restore life to the knees and ankles πŸ˜‚

      Reply
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    Susan : Jan 5th

    What a remarkable pair you are. Looking forward to following your journey. Good luck!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Chicken & Dumplin : Jan 5th

      Thank you Susan! Happy New Year!

      Reply

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