Hey there! I'm Traci Withani (trail name: Purple Lotus) and for years I've been obsessed with the Appalachian Trail. After some devastating pivots in my life, I decided to reclaim my narrative by thru hiking the AT in 2024. In addition to being an ardent backpacker, I'm a life-long Midwesterner, neurodivergent, Catholic, mother of 2, fangirl of several franchises, student of Scottish Gaelic, maker of bad puns, passionate listener of podcasts, and unapologetic lover of pizza and ice cold Coca-Cola. When I'm on trail, you'll usually find me stopping to take pictures of everything, out of breath from any slight incline, and employing my signature move...which is tripping over absolutely nothing. In additions to my posts here on The Trek, consider following me on my social media (@emplowered on FB, IG, and YT)
Purple Lotus has a list of things she thinks she'll never do on the Appalachian Trail this year. Is it reasonable?
Hikers often carry heavy loads when they're thru hiking, and not all the weight is on their backs.
2024 AT Thru Hiker Purple Lotus prepares for her upcoming journey by examining her 'why'
Almost anything goes when it comes to trail names. Almost…
Backpackers don't judge each other in the usual way, but we do sometimes give some side eye to each others' choices.
We've found her, the world's most middle-of-the-road hiker. Can such an unremarkable hiker complete the entire Appalachian Trail? Click through to find out!