Hi friends! Long time no write.
Sorry about that. I’ll write about my continued time on the ice (540 days total) and then my abrupt departure another time. I’ll have a long time to think about how to put it all into words while I’m taking my walk.
This summer, I have been in Texas with my boyfriend on his off season (he heads back south in 4 days) and we have been building a plane! It’s a slow process but it’s been fun so far. We also spent a few weeks (over a few trips) in New Mexico. Robert bought a GORGEOUS piece of property in Angel Fire that we are going to eventually build on. Oh, and we have spent several weeks in the small town of Ajo Arizona with his sister (and I have learned I do NOT want goats). Then we visited my family in Georgia for a week.
If you don’t already know, my next adventure is going to be…well…a real adventure. I’m setting out to hike the Appalachian Trail on July 25th. I’ll fly up to Maine on the 23rd, spend two nights at the Appalachian Trail Lodge and then start the 2,193 mile walk south to Georgia.
It’s quite possible that I’ve lost my mind. Maybe I’ll find it on the way south.
So, a lot of people have asked me why I want to do this hike. Here’s the back story.
Years ago (sometime 2010) I was sitting in dispatch at GB-911, working the county fire/ems desk on a night shift. I was covering that evening because we were incredibly short staffed and I needed to work a console for a shift (I was in the admin position at the time and HATED Mon-Fri hours) and I was discussing camping with one of my co-workers. She was big into camping and we were discussing a good place for trying backpacking. I stumbled across the Trailjournals site in my internet searches and for the next 6 hours of my shift, I obsessively read journals of hikers on the AT. I then decided that I would hike it the year I turned 40. At the time, 40 was still a good ways off and it sounded like an excellent idea. I was single, I wasn’t planning on having any kids, I could save up enough money to do a 6 month hike…
Then Antarctica part 1 (and 2,3,4) happened. The thought of the AT got pushed onto the back burner a bit. In my early 30s I toyed with the idea of having kids, so the trail was pushed even further back. Then I decided that if I didn’t have kids by 36, I wasn’t having any and I would hike the trail when I turned 40. When I became single shortly after turning 35, I made the announcement that my plans to hike the trail were back on.
Should have started preparing for it then. I’d go through periods where I was hitting the treadmill on the highest incline for weeks/months at a time, carrying my fully loaded 36 pound camera bag for practice. Then I’d go for months of not doing anything.
And lately, I haven’t done anything to prepare. Except shop. I’ve now ordered everything. Some of it will arrive in Georgia this weekend. A lot of it is already in Georgia (we took it out there when visited my fam).
I’ve read a lot about the trail. I know that while it is a strenuous physical activity, it’s also a big mental game. You have to keep your head in the game. Oh, and watch out for snakes, bears, ticks, rocks you can trip on, other people on the trail, keep your feet in good shape, keep all smellables out of your tent, etc. I’m mentally ready for this. Sure, I am a bit concerned about Mt. Katadhin (which I’m starting with) and the White Mountains in NH (which are also early in my trip), but I’m sure it’ll be fine.
I’ll write another post with a breakdown of my gear and such when I get to Georgia.