I must say this has been a trip in itself to prepare for the Appalachian Trail. Between all the packing and unpacking and repacking of my bag; get the actual bag, all the gear, learn from books and YouTube vlogs and blogs, podcasts and personal conversations with experienced people. Not to mention the “normal” day to day life I live in anticipation of attempting a hike of a lifetime. The Appalachian Trail! And everyone thinks I’m crazy.
I’m excited. I am nervous. I’m frustrated. I feel all the feelings, but most of all…I’m more than ready.
I’ve spent years dreaming about what TA has in store for me. Both for my spiritual and physical growth. Seven years ago I took a short hike from Springer Mountain to Unicoi Gap, 50 miles from hell! I was completely off guard with the old heavy equipment from when my dad was in the military. I wore the wrong clothes, the wrong amount of food. Everything is wrong and everything weighs over 100 pounds. I had no idea how long I was going to be on the trail or what I was even doing on the trail. I didn’t know the rules. I had no idea what it was like to be a courteous hiker. I peed where I shouldn’t and I slept where I shouldn’t. I left things on the side of the trail when it started to get too heavy…after about 4 miles!
In the 7 years since my feet left the trail, those 10 days have become in my mind some of the best days I have ever had. My crazy ass wants more and this time…I want it all! Why not! If 10 days of misery were so impressive, wouldn’t 150 days be even better?
I can set foot on the trail again from Unicoi Gap on Saturday June 4, 2022. The Friday before I will be hiking up Springer Mountain one more time, 7 years older and luckily a little wiser than the first time. After a few hours of gaming and hanging out with a friend, I’ll spend my last night in bed. For a moment anyway. Then, early Saturday morning, I join the many others who have begun their adventure for this year’s Appalachian Trail trip.
Eventually, when I get about halfway through the trail, I’ll turn around so I don’t get caught on Mt Katahdin in the middle of a winter storm…but that’s ahead of me.
For today, I’ll be breathing through another extremely slow day until I can feel the sun (or rain) on my face, the dirt and rocks under my hiking boots, and the 35 pounds of everything. what I have on my back.
Calypso and Magenta
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