I love talking about the trail.
It consumes about 94% of conversations in our house at this point; the other 6% is venting about the jobs that were a means to the hiking end and the trials of living in the South (that is mainly me, not Logan). But when talking to other people who don’t know us as well as our close friends, the question of why nearly always occurs early in conversation.
Logan believes the answer can be deeply personal, so the fact that people ask it leaves him somewhat answer-less (he believes the same things about tattoos, that some things are just for you and don’t need a reason). I’ve come around to that thinking but it may be because I don’t have a nicely packaged answer as to why that I think people are looking for.
So, why am I going into the woods?
Because I want to get the chance to do something wild. Because we like being outside and want to poop in the woods. Because we are young and have the ambition to try something most people can’t finish for a multitude of reasons. Because we have the time and the spark for a new challenge. Because why the heck not.
I think I’m looking for a community again. I went to a very small liberal arts school in the Green Mountains of Vermont; shout-out to my Bennington College homies. There were 600 undergrad students. Everyone knew of everyone. And if you didn’t personally interact with them, you knew a story about them. After I graduated, I left my little school in my little town and went to Disney World, where I worked at Animal Kingdom in the College Program. I met Logan there.
While there was a community, it didn’t feel like a family.
Once Logan and I met, we’ve been chasing seasonal work from Maine to Colorado and doing whatever (within reason) struck our fancy. We don’t have a mortgage; we don’t have kids. Our bills are reasonably sized and we are willing to work hard at jobs we don’t always love. It’s been fun, but I miss a small family-feeling community.
I think one of the most exciting aspects of hiking the trail is meeting people from all backgrounds. People who have unique experiences and stories and lives. People who may never have connected if it wasn’t for an interest in being outside, whether it be for a day, a week, or maybe months at a time.
I think part of my why is why not.
Why not have the chance to experience trail life? Why not try to rival Frodo Baggins (my pack looks like it’s going to weigh a bit more than the one ring of power)? Why not hike in and out of small towns across the East Coast? We just left Maine, so why not hike back? Why not figure out why on the trail?
But for now we tell people because we have the time and have always wanted to.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.