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

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
The Sound of Cosmic Laughter

The Sound of Cosmic Laughter

From what I’ve read, thru-hiking the Appalachian trail teaches us important lessons.  There will be things we need to learn, aspects of our lives we

Nov 21, 2016 : Gail Barrett
A Tale of Two Privies (Part 2)

A Tale of Two Privies (Part 2)

Before I get to my nomination for the Best Privy on the AT, Mid-Atlantic region. let me make one thing clear.  In my opinion, nothing beats modern

Oct 26, 2016 : Gail Barrett
A Tale of Two Privies (Part I)

A Tale of Two Privies (Part I)

If you're anything like me, the word privy probably evokes images of a nasty little outhouse with a stench so staggering you'd rather hightail it to

Oct 24, 2016 : Gail Barrett
Five Signs You’ve Descended into Thru-Hiking Madness

Five Signs You’ve Descended into Thru-Hiking Madness

Plantar-fasciitis bandaging If anyone had told me a year ago that I’d post a picture of my bandaged foot on Facebook, I would have been aghast. 

Oct 17, 2016 : Gail Barrett