My name is CJ and I am originally from Queens, NY but have spent most of my life in Northern VA, where I currently call home. I am 47 years old and spent the past 20 plus years managing and helping to open restaurants up and down the East Coast. I still can't believe that in 2023, my girlfriend Brandee and our cattle dog, Beo, are headed north on the AT from Springer Mountain, GA. I am looking forward to sharing this incredible experience of a lifetime with all of you!
There Are Angels Among Us and The First 100 Miles
Having only been on the trail for two and a half weeks, I have only seen a sliver of what the trail has to offer. These angels, have helped to give me the strength to get through rainy days, tough ups and downs and sleepless nights. As I said before, I am sure they aren’t aware of the good they are doing for me and everyone else on the trail.
A Thank You Post To Friends And Family
I also want to thank anyone who has spent time with me over the past 6 months. That is when Brandee and I officially announced that we would be doing this, and I have not shut up about it. Seriously. It has been over the top. EVERYTHING has reminded me of hiking. I struck up a conversation with someone in the bathroom stalls because they had a pair of Hoka Speedgoats on. Who am I???
Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable
We will, as they say, learn to embrace the suck. Or as I prefer to say: “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” No matter how you phrase it, we are aware of the fact our hike will be more difficult when we start our hike in just a couple of weeks. And you know what? That’s ok.
Fears, Bears and Gear
For the past year or so, Brandee has asked me every few days if I am starting to get nervous. My answer has always been no. Until just a few days ago.
“So, What Are We Talking? A Week or So?”
Inquiring minds want to know. Am I being kidnapped? The answer is a resounding no! Believe it or not, I want to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 2023. Yep, all 2194 miles. How did I get here? I guess I should start from the beginning...