Where It All Begins

Who is She

My name is Emilee and I come from a small town in Western Mass. Recently I graduated college with my Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and have become an engineer in training. Leading up to my thru-hike I have been spending the majority of my time working and spending as much time as I can with my boyfriend, Jake, and our two lovely pups, Freyja and Reese. I love spending my time outdoors hiking, skiing, and going for road trips in my 1999 Chevy conversion van, also known as Big Blue.

Jake and I in Maine with Big Blue last Summer.

Why the AT

Growing up I spent most of my time outdoors and always loved family hiking trips to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Naturally with this love for the outdoors I watched the movie Into the Wild and I was hooked. Although a tragic story in the end, I always admired Alex McCandless for his ability to go against the grain and seek out what he truly wanted in life. Each time I watched that movie it left me longing for a change of pace, some sort of grand adventure. Flashforward a few years to when I was in high school, my mom discovered the Appalachian trail and she began to dream about thru-hiking it one day. Her obsession soon turned into mine and now after graduating college the time has finally come where I get to make my dream a reality.

The Hard Truth

The initial plan was to bring my dog Reese with me on the trail. I had spent hours researching gear, training, and reaching out to others who have successfully finished thru-hikes with their dogs in order to prepare Reese and I with what was to come. This past summer we did a little shakedown hike on the AT to test out our gear and it went awesome. However, when we went on a winter shakedown a few weeks ago to test out the colder temps it did not go as planned. For a variety of reasons I had to make the tough decision to leave Reese at home. I am so thankful this happened on a shake down and not within the first couple days on trail, I don’t know if my emotions would have been able to handle all that so early on.

Pictured Reese (white border collie) and class of ’21 thru hiker Bubba.

The Outcome

So that is about it. I can’t wait for everyone to follow along with me on my journey as I begin the Appalachian trail. I will be starting at the end of March on my 23rd birthday because how else should I celebrate than taking a really really long walk.

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