Why are you hiking the AT?
“Why are you hiking the AT? Are you doing the whole thing at once? How far is that? How long will it take you?” These are some of the most common questions I have been asked, as I am sure anyone who announces their intent to hike the AT is asked.
Why not? That is usually my initial retort, “Ball in your court question asker!”
There are limitless reasons why, but for me the simplest is, because I want to (because I love adventure, and anything that requires endurance, hardship, and challenges), and because I can. While some people are shocked, mortified, bewildered or in awe, others are quite envious.
The first reason, that I want to, and have since I was in high school (lo, those many years ago.) is the main reason The second is, because I can. This is not just a statement of my physical ability, but of timing, life, and luck. I have the time available to do it, which is no mean feat in and of itself. I am working on a compressed timeline (self-induced), and taking a little over four months to accomplish this adventure. This is not an insignificant amount of time to have available away from normal life, family, work, etc. There are also the financial requirements. The gear is not cheap, and once on the trail, sustainment is required in the form of food, supplies, and other sundries. Getting to and from the trail can be quite an expense itself.
So, I do not have or need any deeper meaning than I want to, and I can. I do not need to find myself, I am who I am and damn happy about that. I am not looking for inner peace, tranquility, or enlightenment. For those who are, I salute you, and hope that you find what you seek on your adventure along the Trail.
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