Starting Tomorrow, and Yes, I’m Nervous

I cannot believe that tomorrow is day one! I’m experiencing a strange mix of apprehension and disbelief. I’ve spent the last two days staying with some friends in Atlanta, carrying on as if no major life changes are happening tomorrow. There’s a backpack filled with stuff in the corner of their guest room that needs to be sorted through, repacked, and fretted over. But it was St. Patrick’s Day, so we should definitely go out for an extended day-drinking affair instead, right? My husband and I are heading up to Amicalola later today (probably after some sort of bottomless mimosa brunch), but it’s been quite the trip just getting to Georgia.

Pay Attention

I hit a pretty big bump in the road on Feb. 13 when I sprained my ankle while I was out for a run in my neighborhood in Queens. Aside from the fact that I was furious at myself for tripping over a tiny hose on an otherwise very flat, empty, and wide sidewalk, I immediately saw all the plans I had been making get tossed out the window. Luckily, it wasn’t as bad as it looked (and it looked bad). It’s been X-rayed, iced, elevated, and it’s finally feeling good again. I’ve got a handy ankle support brace (we’ve taken to calling it my ankle Spanx) that I’ll use for the first few weeks.

The Trip to the Trip

I spent my last night in New York City being with the city the way I like best – unplanned and unscheduled. I started walking, ended up taking myself to dinner at two different restaurants, and taking a pretty long walk afterward, even as it was raining. Two dinners and a walk in the rain seemed like an appropriate choice as I prepare to walk the AT.

My dad and I started our two-day drive to Oklahoma the day after the first in a string of nor’easters brought down six trees in our yard (bye, trees!). I got to spend five great days with my family in Oklahoma, a weekend in Dallas meeting my new nephew, and after one final long day of driving, the dogs and I made it to El Paso, where they’ll spend the next few months enjoying the Chihuahuan Desert.

Al and Charlie at the Franklin Mountains.

Charlie and Al are settled in with my mother-in-law, our weekend in Atlanta is coming to an end, and shit is getting real. Amid all the questions about how excited I must be, someone asked me the other day if I’m nervous, and I realized that yes, I am really nervous. I’m nervous for so many reasons, and they’re all valid. And as I’ve recognized this nervousness, sat with it, and let it inhabit this space that’s already filled with so many other contrasting feelings, it’s helped me feel more ready to start tomorrow.

Living in Luxury

I’ve been putting off writing a gear list post for weeks now, because I got tired of weighing everything and filling out a lighter pack chart and obsessing over every last ounce. Yes, I’m starting out a few pounds over an ideal base weight. It’s my first long distance hike – I’m sure most of us are in the same boat. So instead, I’ll talk about my luxury items.

–A pillow, because sleep matters, and lumpy clothes don’t help.
–A Kindle, because I read a lot.
–A Tiger Tail Roadster. A friend of a friend (@thruhikesyndicate ambassador @pateenyo) suggested this, and I’m pretty stoked about it. I’ve had awful plantar fasciitis a few times, I foam roll like it’s church, and I’m pretty sure this will be a lifesaver.

The absolute definition of “luxury.”

Any and all of these might end up getting dumped, because something has to.

The forecast tomorrow is for thunderstorms followed by a cold front. The ATC website shows that tomorrow is maxed out for NOBO starters. There were only 15 people registered when I added myself in January. Looking forward to long privy lines in the rain for a while, I guess. Should be an auspicious start. See you all out there.

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Comments 4

  • Cheryl and Ray Galli : Mar 18th

    Happy Trails! Wishing you a successful and fulfilling journey. LOVE the Tiger Tail Roadster idea! May need to consider that for my husband. He started last Thursday and, thankfully, no issues but that’s a great idea!

  • Billy and Kristine Tighe : Mar 19th

    Go Danny go! Can’t wait to hear about this adventure and we’re following every mile of the journey.

  • Jill Brownfield : Mar 22nd

    So excited to follow along on your journey, Danny! Sending you tons of hugs from me and my Brownfield crew. You’ll be in our thoughts and prayers. Stay safe, we love you!

  • Mary B : Mar 23rd

    Trail name = Spanx


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