I’ve decided. It’s taken me what seems to be years and years to do what I’ve always wanted to do. But, now I’m doing it. In four short months, I’ll be taking my first physical steps toward fulfilling a life-long dream – hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. Of course, right now, I’m taking all manner of non-physical steps in fulfilling it – buying gear, learning how to cook over an alcohol stove, how to pack, how to simplify and multi-task all at the same time.
OK, let me also say that it’s a bit of a stretch to say “life-long dream”. I don’t think I’d even heard of the Appalachian Trail until I lived near the Trail in northern Georgia almost 2 decades ago. But, I had heard of the Oregon Trail as a child – pioneers blazing their way through blizzard and heat, making perhaps 20 miles a day. My parent’s land used to have part of the Ice Age Trail on it, and I remember dad telling me about hikers that would come through on occasion. I have always loved to walk indefinitely – following the train tracks, or picking a spot on the horizon and trying to get there. So, I guess it’s fair to say I’ve always had a bit of wanderlust, and the Appalachian Trail became a symbol of how to honor that inner nomad since becoming aware of it in college.
I’m inviting you to come along with me through this blog. I’m an extrovert so I believe “the more, the merrier”. Not that I’ll be short of friends to meet on the Trail, considering I’ll be 1 of 30 people that begin hiking at Springer Mountain EVERY day in March/April. However, there is much to be said for long-time friends and family – even for a nomad. I know that this Trail will change me, and I’d like to share what I learn and experience with the people I’ve done “life” with so far. (By the way, if you stumble on this blog, and you don’t know me very well, that’s OK, you can still read this. Even if I’m a complete stranger, that’s OK too.)
My goal is to post something new at least once a week until I leave. Once I hit the Trail, I’ll still pass through a town once a week or so, and hopefully they will have a public computer I can cozy up with to stay a little connected with the outside world. For those who know me, it will come as no surprise if this blog is less about the physical adventures of blisters and rainstorms and mice chewing a hole in my backpack as it is about the spiritual and emotional discoveries that happen when one perhaps experiences those aforementioned things. Yes, I’m a nomadic philosopher. I know, I know, it sounds really cool. But it has never gotten me much of a paycheck. Or a drink bought for me at a bar. Or even good grades. Ah well.
I hope you enjoy!