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!
On our second day on the trail, we woke up, packed up our gear, ate breakfast, and then we hiked. After we were done hiking for that day, we found a
We spent hours reading blogs and articles. We talked to anyone who had hiking experience. Silly me. It didn't matter. That isn't how this works. I have quickly learned that for us noobs, there is no substitute for the lessons you will learn while actually thru-hiking.
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.
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???
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.
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.
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...