Gail Barrett

Hi, everyone! I’m a 62 year old romance novelist who has decided to get out from behind my desk and do a flip-flop AT thru-hike starting in April 2017. I admit I’m both thrilled and terrified at the thought of taking on a challenge this big. I have no backpacking skills, no survival expertise, and absolutely no reason to believe I can do this other than a healthy dose of stubbornness that has always helped me succeed. I figure this will either be the adventure of a lifetime or the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. I hope you’ll cheer me along as I try to find out!

Posts

Snickers Bars to the Rescue – Trail Magic Does the Trick

Snickers Bars to the Rescue – Trail Magic Does the Trick

I've never cared for Snickers Bars. In fact, I doubt I've eaten more than a few of them in my entire life. But as odd as it may seem, some trail

Apr 26, 2017 : Gail Barrett
How Low Can We Go? A Not-So-Fun-Week on the AT

How Low Can We Go? A Not-So-Fun-Week on the AT

If you're hoping for an upbeat post about thru-hiking, this isn't it. This is an honest assessment of the rather brutal week we've had. Here's

Apr 20, 2017 : Gail Barrett
Pee-wee Herman and Machine Gun Fire – the Highs and Lows of Our Second Week on theTrail

Pee-wee Herman and Machine Gun Fire – the Highs and Lows of Our Second Week on theTrail

What a week! Each day seems like an eternity on the trail, packed with so many unusual experiences that it's impossible to sum them all up.  But here

Apr 12, 2017 : Gail Barrett
Deer Legs and Hiker Rage – a Recap of Week One

Deer Legs and Hiker Rage – a Recap of Week One

I knew that this hike would be painful.  I knew that I'd be exhausted, although I still vastly underestimated the difficulty of hauling a 27 lb. pack

Apr 6, 2017 : Gail Barrett
Coping with the Countdown – The Frantic, Last-Minute Preparations for an Imminent Thru-Hike

Coping with the Countdown – The Frantic, Last-Minute Preparations for an Imminent Thru-Hike

The moment has finally arrived.  After an entire year of preparation, two somewhat disastrous shakedowns -- and studying every book, article and blog

Mar 21, 2017 : Gail Barrett
Learning the Hard Way (Lessons from another not-so-successful shakedown hike)

Learning the Hard Way (Lessons from another not-so-successful shakedown hike)

Here in Maryland near South Mountain, we live in a little pocket of uncertain weather. Check half a dozen forecasts on any given day, and you'll get

Mar 8, 2017 : Gail Barrett
Not a Happy Camper (Lessons Learned from an Aborted Shakedown Hike)

Not a Happy Camper (Lessons Learned from an Aborted Shakedown Hike)

We simply couldn't resist.  The lure of this incredibly mild weather, combined with all the accounts we've been reading of people who have begun

Mar 1, 2017 : Gail Barrett
In Praise of Junk Food

In Praise of Junk Food

I’ve never been known for moderation.  When something interests me, I tend to go off the deep end, flinging myself totally into the task.  So it’s

Feb 3, 2017 : Gail Barrett
Torn between Excitement and Fear

Torn between Excitement and Fear

With only a short time remaining before the start of my thru-hike, I can no longer ignore the truth.  The endless months of fantasizing and dreaming

Jan 23, 2017 : Gail Barrett
The Shocking Moment of Truth — or a Desperate Plea for Packing Help

The Shocking Moment of Truth — or a Desperate Plea for Packing Help

For the past eight months, ever since I decided to attempt an AT thru-hike, I’ve been accumulating hiking gear. Since I tend to be somewhat anal

Dec 30, 2016 : Gail Barrett