Tell The Ones Who Need To Know; We Are Headed North
“She’s the silver sun, you best walk her way and watch it shine.”
Hey y’all! I’m Amanda and I’ve spent the past five years living in the Appalachian Mountains while attending Appalachian State University. Way back in 2012, when I was a freshman, I discovered the awesome hiking community around my area. At first, I would go on day hikes with friends off the Blue Ridge Parkway, but as I learned more, I began to branch out.
After watching a documentary late one night when I should have been studying for finals, I felt the burning desire to join the ranks of all the AT thru-hikers. Unfortunately, it was late, I was broke, and I had at least four years of college ahead of me. I swore to myself that when I made it through my undergraduate degree, I would set out on my own adventure.
You Fill Up My Senses Like A Night In The Forest
While swiping around one day on a dating app, a thru-hiker sitting under a giant tree popped up. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to talk to someone who has experienced the trail first hand. So, I swiped left and we matched! After sporadically texting for about a month, he had hiked a good distance into Virginia. I decided to meet up with him and his hiking partner, Poet, in some random trail town.
His socks contained the most potent smell I have ever witnessed, he was bruised from his pack, he could eat at least eight crunch wraps from Taco Bell, and he had a pretty sick beard. Obviously, the best match for a woman like me. Each time I met up with them, I met more thru-hikers who shared their incredible stories. This had me even more determined to hike. After the trail, he packed up his dog and headed back down to the land of the pines. This is when “my own adventure” turned into “our adventure”.
I’m Gonna Watch You Shine. Gonna Watch You Grow
We’ve been planning this thru-hike together since the day he stepped off the trail. It always has seemed so far in the future. I look forward to those cold, rainy days when my feet hurt and I’m dying of hiker hunger. That’s where I’ll learn who I really am. I hike for clarity and a sense of direction. I fell in love with getting lost in the woods and entering a bubble where time seems to stand still.
When I’m in the woods, I am my authentic self. The most pure and confident version of myself. That’s right, I am happiest when I haven’t bathed in who knows how long and my phone battery is beyond dead. I feel connected to this beautiful planet. Everything slows down and I can finally breathe. We hike for the thrill of adventure, taste of freedom, and a deeper connection with each other. We’ll follow each other to the ends of the earth, but heading north to Maine sounds like a good place to start.
I Hope You’ll Understand. I Was Born A Ramblin’ Man
Well for me, my name is David Blomquist. Friends and family know me by Davy; many hikers and other acquaintances during my 2015 thru-hike knew me by my old trail name, Pippin. I’m a 23-year-old of the barefoot, hipster adventuring type. I understand I am no pioneer of the hippie front. I’m almost cliche in my ginger-bearded, free-thinking, forest-loving aesthetic. Oh well. I love what I love. I love the earth in all its natural glory and I love the bit of freedom the universe has blessed upon me.
The opportunity to hike a 2,000-mile trail with the love of my life, all 7,200,042 steps, over 400,064 glorious feet of mountain… What a privilege. The Appalachian Trail is a gift that mother earth has so graciously given to hikers of all shapes, colors and sizes. I love this trail, I love the people who maintain and support it. I love everything about it.
His Sight Has Turned Inside Himself To Try And Understand
I hope if our blog has the power to persuade at least one person to take at least one step outside their home, perhaps outside their comfort zone even, that the earth will bless them the way it has me. That will make this all worth it. I don’t normally do blogs, or much self-expression with words at all. Especially over the internet. This is me going out of my comfort zone, and I’m OK with that, it’s part of the adventure. I want to share this adventure with you (our readers) in order to express why Amanda and I would put ourselves through such danger and hardships in order to bring balance to ourselves and our lives. Also, to connect with you and teach anyone willing to learn that every challenge in life is rewarded by experience.
To me, experience is the fruit of life. It nourishes and inspires us as humans. The Appalachian Trail is an endless plethora of experience. To both the ignorant and to the weathered veterans. It taught me a lot about who I am. I’m sure some of you can relate, and maybe some of you are curious as to what I mean. Go outside and lose yourself, if only for an hour. You will know what I mean.
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