In 2007, when I was 20, I attempted a SOBO thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. I made it 1500 miles before running out of time and money. I rehiked the Trail in 2009 and completed my thru-hike on Springer Mountain. In 2010 and 2011 I was a Ridgerunner for the PATC in Maryland--I kept my hiking legs strong while I saved up for my next hikes. I thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2012 and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013. I returned to the AT in 2014 working as the Ridgerunner Coordinator for the AMC in Connecticut. This is my first summer off trail since 09 and adjusting to an office job is not easy.
Planning to thru-hike and wondering what to do about your long hair? You could cut it all off. Maybe give yourself a mohawk and then shear it all off or maybe a spiky pixie cut is more your style. Or you could leave it long. Here's how.
Discount grocery stores stock their shelves with colorful packages of processed goods ranging from fruit snacks, protein bars, cookies, crackers, pop tarts, whole fat dried milk, cereal, chips, candy, tuna packets, trail mix, mashed potatoes, noodles in pouches. Any of that sound familiar? And all of that priced at roughly half off what you would pay at the grocery store.
It saddens me to lose my thru-hiker super powers--they were fun and they made thru-hiking possible. They were with me so long I forgot a person could look at an ice cream sundae and doubt their ability to eat the whole thing--and forget about going back for seconds.
Picture this: a day hike in early spring with temps in the mid 70’s and plenty of sun. The group is comprised mostly of city kids turned suburb dwelling young professionals. Hiking is a novelty for most. I am proud of my thru-hiker status but I don’t want to look like a “Serious Hiker” which leads to questions that make me feel like I’m trying to figure out what to wear for the first day of high school.