I took a few hours off of work today to meet Aviator for coffee at her home! I was nervous. Part of me wanted to cancel or postpone the meeting. I was worried she would be able to tell at first site whether I “had what it took” to complete the AT. Once I sucked it up, gave myself a pep-talk, and pushed my anxieties back down into the dark place where they belong… we were gifted with a beautiful afternoon filled with stories, tips, gear-talk, hardships, pictures etc. At one point, she brought downstairs an armful of books she suggested I read- she lent me:
1. Appalachian Trials by Zach Davis
2. AWOL on the Appalachian Trial by David Miller
3. Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery
After coffee, she assisted me to Rockfish Gap Outfitters in Waynesboro, Va. She’s a regular there and the guys had worked with her in getting all her gear for her AT and CT experiences– needless to say, they know their stuff. I went in there the previous week to purchase my LEKI walking sticks and to get properly fitted for a pack.
Aviator requested they place 35lbs in a pack and have me walk around the store for a few minutes. The pack I chose was a grey Osprey pack, size medium, with lavender straps (those are growing on me, but still a little girly). Overall I love it! It’s comfortable, the price was right, and Aviator has the same style and brand which only further support that it’s a good quality, durable pack.
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