The Plan: Thru-hike the Appalachian Trail as a couple, beginning mid-February at Springer Mtn in Georgia, finishing in September at Katahdin.
Prelude – Physical, Mental, Kit and Kaboodle
Surrounded by boxes, I looked with affection at my parents. “We’ve unpacked a lot today. But now I’ve got to get some exercise,” I told them. Though I had come 3000 miles across the continent to help my parents finish moving from their house to an apartment in a senior living complex, I was determined to stay true to my own goal of a daily workout.
“Exercise!” my mother exclaimed. “Isn’t hauling boxes back and forth enough? I suppose you feel that you need to hike, to stay in shape for the AT. Well, how long will you be gone? Where are you planning to walk?”
“Oh, I thought I’d head down to the park and hit the greenway for a few miles. I’ll be back in three hours,” I told her casually.
“You’re not walking down that busy road to the park wearing those dark colors,” Mom declared. She reached into an open box and tossed me a reflective vest. “Wear this!”
Whether the age of three or fifty-three, it is a wise child who knows not to argue when a parental edict is given. “Yes, Mom,” I said meekly.
So, why am I attempting a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail?
Maybe it’s just for the fun of listening to people’s reactions. “What, are you crazy, or just stupid?”
Maybe it’s because I feel stifled in town, and the woods provide a welcome release.
Maybe I just can’t think of anything else I’d rather do at this point in my life!
One thing is sure – the forest brings out the light-hearted side of my character!
Kit and Kaboodle
Of course it is important to plan ones gear when preparing for a thru-hike. (See our Equipment page!) But it’s even more important to practice with that equipment. Here, our Ursack seems to be holding its own against a visiting bear. (An Ursack is a bear-proof food bag.)