Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step

Hey there!  So I drank the Kool-Aid and started a blog.  I have recently decided to take my life in a new direction, all those things we always say would be really cool to do one day, I have decided to start doing.  I am launching my new life of adventure and poverty, with a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.

When people ask me why I want to do this, I have a hard time coming up with a specific answer.  I really love hiking.  I enjoy being in nature.  I am not going to pretend that I am a full-on mountain woman, as I also enjoy things like shaving my legs and mattresses. I don’t know what exactly to expect from the trail. I expect it to be hard, to be tired/hungry/cold/exhausted/dirty/bored/terrified. Time on the trail has been described as long stretches of boredom pierced by moments of sheer terror. But I also expect to see beauty few people get to see. I am excited to push myself to the limit (I’ll be eating that statement later I’m sure).   I do not expect to experience some great epiphany about the meaning of life. Nor do I expect to get eaten by a bear or a one-eyed hillbilly named Festus (both scenarios have been brought to my attention).  I do hope this forced simplification of my life will influence the way I continue to live long after the trail.       

If you are curious, I have posted links about the AT to the right, as well as a really great interactive map.  It shows the trail towns I will be stopping in as well as every shelter along the AT.   So if you are wondering exactly where I am (as I’m sure I will be myself….), use the map to locate whatever shelter or town I seem to think I’m in.  I also hope to post photos as I go, I will be uploading them from my phone to my Flickr site.  I will try to update this blog as often as possible, but my time in towns/near wi-fi will be limited. I will be journaling old school along the way and basically dumping a weeks worth of thoughts online, so please excuse inconsistent rambling and general grammar/spelling errors.  I intend to be as honest as possible with you (and myself) about my thoughts, feelings, physical well-being, mental health, when I’m loving it, when I’m hating it…

I’m ready for this journey, excited for the amazing moments I will experience, interesting people I will meet, and as prepared as I can be for the total physical and mental discomfort I will undoubtedly experience. My dad arrived today, he will be joining me for the first 200 miles, and maybe more if he feels like it. Tomorrow morning at 6:30am we fly to Atlanta, where we will be picked up by two seemingly lovely strangers who will give us a place to sleep, feed us breakfast, and then drive us to the woods.  I know that sounds like the intro to a horror movie, but I am positive I am about to embark on one of the best experiences of my life.