Big Mike

What’s up, my name is Mike McMahon (Footlong) and on March 27th I will begin my attempt to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail northbound. I’ve bought the gear, read the books, and done my best to get into the right headspace for such an undertaking. I sold my car and now walk everywhere in Chicago, including plenty of 20 and 25+ mile days, but have only done a couple overnight camping trips to test gear. Hiking is not my primary hobby and camping is new to me. I’m thinking more folks can relate to this than might admit. I put my preparedness somewhere right in the middle. But my confidence is fully intact and now that I’m starting this blog, if I fail, I’m gonna do it publicly. I’m 36-years-old. I’m from Roseville, Minnesota but my wife and I moved to Lakeview East, Chicago in June 2020. Alicia and I have been married eight years and she’s awesome, as is probably suggested by the fact that I’m able to just leave for six or seven months. I had an incredible job in Minnesota as a partner of a burgeoning restaurant group. But it became clear to me that it wasn’t bringing me enough intrinsic happiness and that a change was necessary. Despite it making very little sense to anyone, we knew it was the right decision, so I bailed. Alicia had gotten a sweet job with United Airlines that required a move to Chicago and we said “why not?” We bought a condo where we live with our two dogs and tortoise; Edwin, Newton, and Daisy respectively. Life’s good. Been waiting tables but I put in my 10-month notice last May and I am excited to turn my focus to the mountains. Gonna be nuts

Posts

Always Searching for Balance

Always Searching for Balance

79 Days and 787.3 miles since Springer Mountain All right, it’s been an inexcusably long time since my last post.  I didn’t think that was a huge

Jun 14, 2022 : Big Mike
Mountains and Depression:  Ups and Downs

Mountains and Depression: Ups and Downs

49 Days and 492.5 miles since Springer Mountain. My apologies for the delay to anyone reading these posts. I put together a full blog a week or

May 15, 2022 : Big Mike
Gatlinburg to Hot Springs:  Figuring Out a Few Things

Gatlinburg to Hot Springs: Figuring Out a Few Things

APRIL 25 29 Days and 274.9 miles since Springer Mountain. Just a little update because I might not get to it again for a bit.  The Smokies are in

Apr 25, 2022 : Big Mike
April 9th – 18th on the AT

April 9th – 18th on the AT

APRIL 18 22 Days and 207.7 miles since Springer Mountain All right, I last wrote in this thing on April 9th so it’s been a little while.  Let me

Apr 18, 2022 : Big Mike
Trusting My Gear Gives Me New Confidence

Trusting My Gear Gives Me New Confidence

APRIL 9 13 Days and 109.4 miles since Springer Mountain. So far I have stayed in a bed five nights and shelters eight nights.  That’s more beds

Apr 9, 2022 : Big Mike
Plan Not to Plan

Plan Not to Plan

APRIL 3 7 Days and 69.2 miles since Springer Mountain. I left off last week at Above the Clouds Hostel.  I would recommend the hell out of the

Apr 3, 2022 : Big Mike
Nothing Left To Do But Hike

Nothing Left To Do But Hike

MARCH 29 2 Days and 20.5 miles since Springer Mountain. It’s been a crazy eight days since my last post.  I spent an incredible week with Alicia

Mar 29, 2022 : Big Mike
Mitigating the Mind Games to Come

Mitigating the Mind Games to Come

MARCH 21 6 Days until Springer Mountain I’ve always been good at getting purposefully distracted.  Maybe it’s making excuses at times, but mostly

Mar 21, 2022 : Big Mike
The Mind Preparation of Trail Preparation

The Mind Preparation of Trail Preparation

MARCH 13 14 Days until Springer Mountain. So I worked my last dinner rush and we had our last night out in Chicago.  A final blowout before I

Mar 13, 2022 : Big Mike
The Schematics of Planning a Thru-Hike

The Schematics of Planning a Thru-Hike

MARCH 8 19 Days until Springer Mountain The decision to take on a thru-hike is an exciting one.  An undertaking most only ever dream about.  Many

Mar 8, 2022 : Big Mike