Wonder and the Whys: An Introductory Post

It’s amazing how simple everyday life seems when it is lived inside four walls with windows and a roof. When you roll out of bed, you kind of just assume the coffee pot will brew, the dishwasher will wash and the fridge will preserve. What happens when you replace those walls with a tent, your bed with a sleeping pad and the shower with…well…nothing? These are questions I seek to answer beginning June of this year when I embark on a flip-flop thru-hike of the AT.

Wonder

When you were a kid, what were your dreams like? Not the sleeping kind. The daylight kind. The subjects that would possess your mind and move you to write your own skit or call up your hero. When I was a kid, I moved through quite a long list of loves: sailboats, horses, bagpipes, The Yankees, Ernest Shackleton, Anne of Green Gables and the list goes on. Some of those interests faded with time and age. Others just intensified. I remember when I first read an account of the Endurance, an epic tale of survival and courage. I was captivated. I moved onto tales of adventurers climbing Everest, sailing around the world and eventually hiking the PCT, AT, biking the Continental Divide, and running across America. I read voraciously, sometimes in the back of a particularly mind-numbing college class. I was compelled to learn more and dream more. I finally put my finger on it: these adventures put on display the sheer determination of the human mind and body. Not only that, they give off a glimmer of something great, something almost unimaginable, something so enriching and captivating that I would much rather rearrange my adventure books than read them, knowing they would have to come to an end. What made these experiences so vivid to me? It was wonder.  I cannot know where and when we all discover it. For me, it was on the bowsprit of a schooner off Mount Desert Island in Maine. It was in a lake of rain water at the foot of Ben Nevis in Fort William, Scotland. It was on a small overlook near North Adams, MA, on the AT. Once you recognize it, it takes you captive. It compels you to keep on. To learn more. To listen better. To breathe deeper. To pray more. To climb higher.

Why

Out of those childhood dreams came this one: to thru-hike the AT. Zach reminds us to continue poring over our reasons for thru-hiking once we identify them. In the end, they are often what drive us to keep putting one foot in front of the other. So, here are a few of mine:

fulfill a lifelong dream

take the opportunity to do something I truly love for six months

do it now while my knees are still working

gain courage, perseverance and strong hiker legs

discover direction for my life

grow closer to God and love others better

learn to be patient, flexible, and less afraid of new things (except ticks)

There are an overwhelming amount of details to work through in preparation for this hike:  gear, mileage, clothing, bears, mail drops, you name it…..and don’t even get me started on food!

The purpose of this blog is to provide you with a glimpse into my preparation process and eventually the journey itself:  stories, advice, musings, and hopefully scores of pictures.

Please join me on my thru-hike of the AT 2016.

Cheers and happy trails!

Cori “GPS”

 

 

 

 

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Comments 19

  • Avatar
    Stuart : Mar 30th

    I would love to hear the bagpipes on the trail that would be epic!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Corinne DuBois : Mar 31st

      If they were lighter, I’d totally bring them!!

      Reply
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    Uncle Ari : Mar 31st

    I wish you the strength and courage you need to complete this wonderful adventure . And, I wish you discover on this journey either something about the person you are or will become, or about this marble in the universe upon which you will live your life, or about how to live your life more happily and completely.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Corinne DuBois : Apr 8th

      Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, Uncle Ari! They mean so much!

      Reply
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    Debbie Wyld : Mar 31st

    So awesome. Be safe and enjoy every day.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Corinne DuBois : Apr 8th

      Thanks, Debbie! I so appreciate your support and encouragement!

      Reply
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    Nichole Young : Apr 3rd

    I love what you have to say about wonder. How inspiring! Looking forward to reading more from you!

    Reply
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      Corinne DuBois : Apr 8th

      Thank you so much, Nichole! I’m working on another post right now! I think my favorite part of wonder is how indescribable it is. And yet we all understand it….it draws us to the trail, doesn’t it?:)

      Reply
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    Zhaia : Apr 7th

    My friend and I are section hiking the AT. First trip is in June, starting at Springer Mountain, 10 days on the trail. Can’t wait to read all about your flip-flop thru hike. Best to you on your adventure!

    Reply
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      Corinne DuBois : Apr 8th

      Thank you, Zhaia! That’s so exciting! I hope your trip goes well. Would love to hear more about it! Maybe we’ll cross paths at some point?

      Reply
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    Roadmedic : Apr 8th

    Good luck my friend! I am also going to be starting a dream walk in June! I will be a fol flopper also giving it 17 days. At 58, I realize it is a do it now kinda thing! I love the excitement and fear to come as well as pushing my self further than I do at home. Hope to meet you in person…good luck and happy trails…

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Corinne DuBois : Apr 8th

      Thank you , Roadmedic! You are so right about the combination of fear and excitement. They are a strangely comforting pair, aren’t they? I hope you enjoy every moment of your hike! I’d love to hear more about it. Maybe our paths will cross this summer?

      Reply
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    Mary Beth Burrill : Apr 8th

    HI Corrine,
    I am so looking forward to experiencing your hike through emails and blogs. Like you, real life travel tales and adventures are my favorite reading genre. Would love to see your list:)
    Love and Prayers,

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Corinne DuBois : Apr 8th

      Thank you so much, Mary Beth! That is a fantastic idea! I think I’ll make a list of books for my next blog post:) I so appreciate your encouragement! Maybe you can come along for a day or two?

      Reply
  • Avatar
    B Cheek : Apr 8th

    You’re awesome!!! 😀

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Corinne DuBois : Apr 8th

      SO ARE YOU, B CHEEK!!?

      Reply
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    Phyllis Stoker : Apr 27th

    And the eagle is ready for liftoff! In 3 – 2 – 1…
    I am looking forward to your posts, Corinne. So impressed with you all – and a bit envious to boot. You’re doing what you can, when you can, while you can…way to go! Pick a verse, make it your own, and watch it flesh itself out on the trail.
    Love you, young friend!

    Reply
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    John DuBois : Jun 12th

    Tomorrow be the day!! Always keeping you in mi mind and lifting you…looking forward to breaking in the new boots on some portions of the trail by your side. GO FOR IT!!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Deanie McCarthy : Jun 19th

    Can’t wait to start hearing about your adventures. You are linked to the new website so all at Calvary can follow your amazing journey. 🙂

    Reply

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