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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