The Road to Georgia

The Motivation

Hi! My name is Alex (trail name pending). I’m about to attempt to hike nearly 2200 miles of trail with nothing but a pack on my back and my own two feet. If you’re on the Trek though, I’m sure you’re familiar with the Appalachian Trail, so let me give you a short background on myself, and why I made the choice to drop everything for this seemingly insane journey!

I’ve always loved hiking. When I was a kid, my Nana and Mom (my biggest supporters for this trip), would take my siblings and me on hikes in Southern Ohio in the hocking hills region and I LOVED it. The farm Nana lived on had woods all around it. We’d go hunting through the trees for mushrooms, and pick blueberries in the fields for pancake breakfasts. We spent our days outdoors, from the moment the sun was up until we were watching the sun set over the fields.

      Fast forward to high-school, when I first found out about the Appalachian Trail. It was love at first sight. A good friend and I spent our time in classes looking up all of the gear we’d need and planning to hike it after graduation, spending our time in computer labs on prep rather than school work. Unfortunately though, plans don’t always go according to plan, and that’s okay. Life happens. We get bogged down by responsibility,  relationships, family, tragedy, our own mental health, and what we feel is important in the long run. We forget to enjoy ourselves along the way. It’s time to go live out those dreams though, and I’m not getting any younger.

   The Plan

Over the last few years I’ve worked on a factory floor doing 12 hour days, came out of a 5 year relationship, lost family members, and of course we all dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic. Not that everything was bad. I also sang in a band, moshed at some pretty awesome rock concerts, and attended my best friend’s wedding as his best man. In an effort to be perfectly honest though, I got lazy. I gained a bunch of weight, stopped going for hikes and keeping up with my health, I was a mess. Have you ever gotten sick of feeling sick? Well, a little over a year ago I decided that I had had enough. I needed to do something for ME. I pulled out my phone, made a reservation, and the next day I drove to North Carolina.

Never in my life have I felt more free or inspired than when I drove 9 hours on a whim to go spend a weekend in a cottage and follow the white blazes. It reminded me of my love for the outdoors, and it filled me with passion again. For the first time in years I knew what I needed to do. The day I got back, my research began.

The YouTube hole of information is incredible. The number of Vlogs and Blogs out there is insane. I didn’t know where to start, but I meticulously combed through gear reviews and solo hiking stories, podcasts (Backpacker Radio!) Leave No Trace explanations, how-to’s for water purification, and resupply options. I spent the last year preparing and buying equipment so that when the day finally came to tell my boss I’d be leaving, I could dance out the door like Bully Maguire and never look back.



Today I leave Ohio and head to Georgia.  I’m lucky enough to have some incredible family members helping me get down there and as I’m writing this I’m on the road. I’m not sure what experiences I’ll have out there, but I’m looking forward to every encounter. These are memories that will last, and I want to make the most of it. I’ll hit the approach trail in just two days. Good luck to everyone who will be attempting their own thru-hike this year. I’ll see you out there, happy trails!

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