The Trek

Some amazing news came into my mailbox recently!

I applied to be a blogger for awhile back, and found out I have been accepted to the team! I am beyond thrilled to be join an incredible community of fellow thruhikers and experts.

I’ll still update this blog, don’t worry! But I’ll take a lot of what I write there and link it over.

This is a huge step to help bring my love of hiking, nature, education, and photography to others in hopes to inspire folks to get outside.

In other news, today was my last day at Starbucks (my second job). It was bittersweet since I will miss many of my coworkers and customers who have become friends to me.

Guys – to any of you who might be reading this – you’re incredible. Thank you for dealing with my silliness at work, my ups and downs, and my ever wandering mind as I’ve mentally transported to the AT.

The new chapter has just begun. I’m freaking out in pure excitement! 


Gearing Up

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here, and wanted to give a quick update as to what’s going on with my prep.

Just less than two weeks now and I’ll be atop Springer Mountain to attempt my thruhike.

I cannot wait to have views like this during my hike. Every day I will see new things, sleep at different locations, and meet amazing new folks.

So far, here’s a few things I have for my hike. I’ll be posting an updated list with photos later, but today is yet another repacking event. Always trying to fit gear in better than the last time.

  • Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 1 tent
  • Osprey Aura 65 AG backpack
  • Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Flame 22 sleeping bag
  • Therm-a-rest ProLite Plus or Z-Lite Sol sleeping pad
  • GoPro Hero 5 Black + pole & chest mounts
  • GSI Outdoors Dual Minimalist cook set
  • MSR Pocket Rocket & fuel
  • Black Diamond Storm headlamp & Alpine Carbon Cork trekking poles
  • Sawyer products mini filter
  • Starbucks VIA packets

I still need to buy some dry sacks, sock liners, and little things to complete my gear list. It’ll be amazing to see what I still have once I get to Maine!

2017 AT Thruhike Training

No matter how many miles you do in a day for training, it’ll never prepare you 100% for the AT. I try to do 5-10 mile hikes after work during the week, but I still go home to my family, various food choices, shower, etc.

Though, I’ve been sleeping on my hardwood floor since November 2016; in my sleeping bag and on my sleeping pad.

So when it comes to sleeping anywhere, I am mega prepared. I’m one of those folks who can pass out on a couch with my head/limbs hanging off.

Mentally, I feel confident. I’m not nervous, but I know it’s because I’m not travelling to Georgia until next month.

The thing is, when I’m out in the nature, I am me. I don’t know how to describe it other than that I am fully in my element; I am myself. Even in bad weather, challenging terrain, little food… I feel fully alive and myself.

I’ve been mentally on the trail for the last few months. I just need to get going.

“It means, though, that fundamentally deep, deep, deep down within you, you will be able to be human, in the pains, difficulties and struggles that naturally go with human existence. But to have no hang-ups, that is to say, to be able to drift like a cloud and flow like water, seeing that all life is a magnificent illusion, a playing of energy, and that there is absolutely nothing, fundamentally, to be afraid of.” — Alan Watts

Reviving & Evolving

The amount of preparation that’s gone into this adventure is really beginning to hit me. For a good 8 months, it’s been all I breathe and think about. My friends and family must be sick of hearing about the Appalachian Trail at this point, but it’s become my entire life. Just as someone who is getting married, having a baby, going to college, buying a house – you name it – it just consumes you.

A lot has built up to this moment. I’m reflecting on it daily.

Would I be here – at this very moment – if it weren’t for all the events that transpired within the last year? Nope. That’s the silver lining.

Continue reading “Reviving & Evolving”