Appalachian Trail 2017

Thursday April 21, 2016

atmap

I was sitting on the back porch this weekend staring out into nothingness thinking that I have really become bored with my life. I have been doing the same thing day after day. Life just isn’t as fun and exciting anymore. I have gotten so caught up in the working and saving for retirement and pay off the mortgage. I no longer look forward to the next day. What am I looking for? I’m looking for an adventure. And I think I have found it. Thru hiking the Appalachian trail.

Yup! I have decided to hike the Appalachian trail. Thru hike the whole 2185 miles. Yes, walk from GA to MA through the mountains. I know…Crazy, but hey it’s what I want to do. All I can think about lately is hiking the AT. It is not something I have dreamed about doing for years. I just came up with the idea last year when I started backpacking, I just get these grand ideas sometimes.

Now I have no idea how I am going to make it a whole year in my current boring lifestyle while waiting for my AT adventure. I am ready to hit the trail now! Hiking the AT has been all I can think about. It is even blocking out some of the other trips I have planned and am looking forward to but I just cant stop thinking about this hike. It is such a huge undertaking and I’m not even sure I have what it takes to do it. Yes I’m scared! Can I make it all the way? I don’t know, but I thought about starting now rather than waiting until next year that’s how consumed I am with this. Instead I’ve decided to leave one of my jobs earlier than planned and live a little more…enjoy my time and start preparing for this hike. My focus has shifted more to being happy in the moment and less on the future.

I have a quote that I cut out years ago and pasted to my bathroom mirror…
“You should set goal beyond your reach so you always have something to live for.”~Ted Turner

One of my first big goals was to run a marathon, then I conquered an Ironman. I wonder since a marathon is one third of an Ironman and the AT is one third of a Triple Crown does that mean I may one day be a Triple Crowner? Whoa! I’m getting way ahead of myself.
Little did I know when I pasted that quote on my mirror that I would one day set a goal that I truly felt was beyond my reach. Way beyond my reach! This hike scares the shit out of me. I don’t know if I have what it takes to do this. It’s the mental and physical strength I will need that has me doubting myself.

I’m ready for the freedom of being on the trail with my only responsibility being putting one foot in front of the other. Just walk to Maine. I wonder if I will make any friends on the trail. I’m really not a social person. I view myself as more of a loner. And truthfully friends are just so much work. I tend to do and say things I really don’t want to do because of them. I feel like I should do this or say this when I just want to be honest. Which isn’t always the nicest thing to do or say. I guess I’ve never really had any great friends. Friends that I was truly honest with and always on the same page with. I’ve read a lot of trail journals and some hikers are so attached to hiking with others. I wonder If I will become that lonely and want to keep pace or slow down to be able to have company. I’ll only know once I am in that situation. I do know that at my age I will be in the minority. Most of the hikers are college age or retired. How will I mix with those two age groups? It seems kind of funny asking that question when I don’t seem to blend well even with people my own age. Maybe they are just what I need, the wisdom of age and the fun and carefree attitude of youth.

 

19 thoughts on “Appalachian Trail 2017

  1. OMG I was just getting ready to post my post on my blog about the exact same thing! I plan to do a thru hike in 2017 also! Just decided on a start date today and put a countdown timer on my phone! It is also all I have been able to think about! Too funny! You sound a lot like me. I’m more of an introvert and loner. I’m also not a college kid or a newly retired person (I’ll be 37 when I hike it). You should check out Hike and Tell or A Walk Through the Mountains! They both have great blogs! Oh yeah and mine too! LOL Good luck to you and maybe we can figure this all out by next year!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I have been kinda of worried about starting at Springer because of the crowds. Plus after reading that link there are a lot of negatives. I was contemplating a flip flop, but would need to wait longer to start and I am just so excitined about starting. Plus some other negatives
        ~ I think it will cost more-more traveling fees
        ~the finish wouldn’t be on Katahdin
        ~ I would probably be hiking in the south after the flip in really hot weather.
        But avoiding the crowds is very tempting. I’m still thinking on it. We will see what time brings.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m looking forward to following your pre-journey journey. I too am planning to hike the A.T. in 2017 but haven’t set my sights on a thru-hike in one year. I’m 70, doubting my ability to do the whole thing. However, I will begin, and I’ll go as far as I go. Hike on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Lora,
      Not so sure about my ability to do this as well. I have just started backpacking in the last year or two and I just fell in love with it. I love all the planning, preparing, and hiking. Have you been backpacking long?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I grew up in a small mountain town in Colorado. Hiking and being in the woods has always been my first love. I first began backpacking in my 30s. I’ve hiked a lot of the Colorado Trail, doing sections as long as 100 miles. I hiked the Continental Divide Trail in one season, about 500 miles. Until last summer I hadn’t been backpacking for several years. Too much to do, too little time. Now, I’m ready to do more though, I’ve definitely slowed down. Wishing you the best. You write well. Have you applied to AppalachianTrials.com to write for them? If not, you should.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow thank you for the compliments on my writing. I was quite shocked by it. I’m pretty conscious about my writing. I never did well in school with English or writing and it takes me a long time to write each blog. I have a difficult time getting my thoughts down on paper. I tend to think much faster than I type and by the time I’ve got the first sentence typed I’m already thinking about the 3rd sentence and by then I’d forgotten what the second sentence was supposed to be. So when I start writing my thoughts down they can get pretty scattered. Thank you again for the compliments that meant a lot to me.

        Do you know I’ve never had a desire to travel until I started backpacking. I’ve seen some trail pictures that are just amazing and now I have a desire to travel and see some of these amazing places. Hiking the Colorado Trail is definitely on my bucket list. Provided the AT doesn’t kill me.

        A couple months ago when I was hiking the Foothills Trail I met met a woman. I’m guessing she was in her sixties and she was on her day 5 of the trail. She looked so fresh and clean and wasn’t even sweating and it was late in the day. She was such an inspiration. Meanwhile I was sweating, dirty and I was tired!!! Hopefully with more experience I will look like her on day 5. I love seeing people my mom’s age out on the trail. I hope I am able to be that active at that age.

        I am excited for you and your hike. Do you know when you will be starting the trail?

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      3. I think even great writers do many re-writes and like anything we get better the more we do it. I too am very self-conscious when speaking or writing in public so writing a blog and letting people read it really stretches me. But it’s a very good thing to share our experiences.
        My current plan is to begin April 2017 at harpers ferry and head south. In A.T. Lingo SOBO. I’m learning all the acronyms. First goal will be Waynesboro which is about 150 miles. I think. I’m studying all that stuff too. Lots to learn between now and then.
        Maine and NH are daunting. So, we’ll see about that.
        And you? I loved your photos of the chattanooga trail. So beautiful.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes, I’m hoping my writing gets better with the more I do it. I enjoy letting my family and friends read about the journey. Plus you tend to forget the details as time goes by.

        I thought I would start the trail some time in April. Just because I think I would be to excited to wait much longer than that to start. I really haven’t decided 100% about where I will be starting the trail. I have thoughts about starting some where in southern VA 1. to avoid the crowd starting in GA 2. to avoid the smokies in April when it can be pretty nasty weather wise. I’m a Florida girl. 3. I thought it would be easier for my husband to visit me in the south. He is a fishing charter captain and his slow season is Aug- Dec. 4. I wouldn’t be going through NH and ME at the very end of the trail. The down side is that I wouldn’t be ending the trail on Katahdin. Plus I would be heading south in some very hot months and I’m not sure my husband would even want to do any hiking then. I don’t know it all seems so complicated and I have a hard time making decisions.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Thanks for the comments on the photos. I just upgraded my account yesterday and add some video the the Chattooga River trail post and also a post back in Oct 2015 titled Bears…Oh my. The Oct post shows a video of a bear I saw in the Smokies.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s very complicated. Will take months of study. I’m ever in awe of Grandma Gates.
    I’m going to Glacier NP in July for two weeks. Going by train so the whole trip is 3 wks. This is kind of a prelude to the A.T. I’m going solo, no car, and will be camping in the hiker/biker campsites. Sometimes I think I should be focused on gnp instead of the A.T. now. GNP doesn’t take near as much planning though. I’m so grateful for all the blogs, videos and facebook. Really helps. I’ll check out your other posts. I’m visiting family now so time for internet will be spotty
    Hike on!

    Liked by 1 person

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