They say you don’t choose to hike the AT, it becomes a calling ✨ I fell in love with this trail during the pandemic. It felt accidental that I was led to it. I was heading to Mt. Tammany in PA but the parking lot was full so a park ranger diverted me further south to a trailhead on the AT at Mt. Minsi. I stepped onto the trail and instantly felt its magic 💖 During the pandemic, I would head to the AT on Sundays and spend hours hiking alone. It was blissful until one day….I was listening to music on my headphones and I nearly stepped on a rattlesnake! 🐍 First of all, who knew PA had rattlers?!? The snake lunged at me because I was so taken aback by its presence that I didn’t back away. After that encounter I swore to never hike alone lol! I reached out to some friends and we did our first overnight backpacking trip which was an aggressive 30 miler! After that, the rest was history and I was hooked 💯I grew up learning to be fearful and I took that with me into adulthood. “Be careful”, “Safety First”, etc etc. I make a conscious effort to not let other people’s fears dictate my choices.I am filled with so many emotions which change hourly but I’m also ready and excited to get on trail.When I ran the NYC marathon 20+ years ago, my nerves were calmed when I was given the advice to think of it as “just a walk around the city”. When I step foot on the AT, I will be “just taking a walk in the woods” 💗