I thru-hiked the AT in 2013, answering to the name of First Gear. Rarely the first up or down a mountain, it suited me well. As a school-based speech language pathologist, there are no more half year forays in my near future. Still, my work affords ample vacation time compared to your typical 9-5er. I capitalize on summer vacations, spending large chunks of time ticking off the shorter long distance trails while I scheme about one day attempting the PCT.
On a solo snowshoe hike on New Years Day, I made my boldest resolution to date. The fact that I’d never followed through on any resolution seemed to underscore the importance of this one: In 2013, I would hike the Appalachian Trail.