Why, when and where
This is my first blog even though I have started thru hiking. This was written prior to my leaving. I simply could not get it posted.
I have been asked by many people when I first decided to attempt this adventure. I cannot put my finger on a precise date although I started thinking about this mid 2015. I have always been aware of the Appalachian Trail since growing up in Quebec. I think the idea blossomed after a friend’s niece and her husband did it. I started reading up on it and the more I read the more it called to me.
Reading the Appalachian Trials (not misspelled), a book by Zach Davis, he encourages you to write down why you want to do it and if you give up what will you feel/be. I have been working part time or full time since I was 12. Working my way through school as well. It was always ingrained in me, you have to be productive in life, get a job, work hard then retire. Well what happens if when you retire, you can’t do the things you want to do because you are too old, out of shape or have an injury that will not allow you to do them? I am lucky enough that I do not have any dependents (except for my dog Yankee), do not have to pay for college and I have saved up enough to be able to embark on this adventure.
So how was I going to embark on this adventure when I had never camped, backpacked or stayed overnight outside? I have always loved day hiking in the woods but nothing more. I told myself, let’s start with camping. That would be safe. I had a friend who had the equipment and know how so she was nice enough to come out and camp with me. She showed me how to set up a tent (leaky one at that). Yankee and I spent the first night wet since there was a huge storm that blew through. My friend thought she would find me gone but it never entered my mind to leave even though my car was right there. The next night was better. First objective conquered.
Next step was to take a backpacking trip. Found one on line where I did not have to have my own equipment. I signed up for all female 3 day 2 night trip in the Smokies. Yankee could not come so it would just be me. We did not do a lot of miles but I was able to keep up (mostly) and had a blast.
Ok, now I was serious. Starting to buy my own gear, told my work my plan. I then went on a 4 night 5 day trip alone with Yankee in the Ozark to test my new stuff and to make certain Yankee was up for it. I loved it. Final test passed.
Now I had to figure out when to leave. I decided March 10th since most people take 5 to 6 months to hike the whole AT. I knew I would be slower due to my age and also I had to make certain not to push Yankee to hard. Baxter park (the end in Maine) closes on October 15th so this would give me 7 months.
So see you down the trail everybody!
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