Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Delivery! Maps and Guide Books

My maps and guide books arrived in the mail today!

This is starting to feel real. Until now I have been refining my backpacking kit and working on my skills. But this, this is the start of something big.

Unbeknownst to me, the trail guides are ordered backwards! They are written for someone hiking from Maine to Georgia (MEGA) rather than from Georgia to Maine (GAME). I find that a bit odd because the majority of thru hikers walk the trail northbound. It's not really a big deal because they have directions written for each. But it feels strange to start at the back of the book and proceed to the front. Also, I won't be using the turn by turn directions - I want the books to find out what sites and sights I don't want to miss and to learn a little bit about each.

Now I have some more material to add to my reading list for my flight to France. I'll be visiting family there, cooking, eating, skiing, and playing games. I can't wait to get out and do some cross-country skiing. I fell in love with it during the last trip. I hope there's snow!!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Am I going to hike alone? Really? Am I crazy?! (Part One)

Over time I plan to address common questions I receive and answer them once and for all, peremptorily, and with zero doubt. Err, I mean, I'll do my best and try to keep it short.

Let me take the third question first. Yes, I am crazy. That's why I'm hiking 2184 miles. I'm just going to take my craziness as a given and move on.

First of all, let me explain what I mean when I say 'hike alone.' I have not made a commitment to any individual to hike the entire trail with said individual. That sounded like some legalese, right? Sorry. But there is a distinction to be made. I have a couple friends with whom I may start the trail. And we may stick together for a few days, a few weeks, or even the whole trip. I don't know. At this stage I'm not sure about my own hike. Will I always go for twenty mile days or will fifteen be enough? Will I want to dawdle here and there? Am I going to skip the towns as much as feasible? Or will I crave a hot shower and meal?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why oh why am I hiking in the woods for five months?

Starting in March 2011 I am quitting my job, gathering all my belongings to storage, and striking out for Georgia. By early April I will be hiking the Appalachian Trail (the AT) roughly 2200 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. It will take me approximately five months, three pairs of shoes, and five hundred and fifty thousand calories (kilocalories for those paying attention to units) to walk the entire distance. Boy, I'd better have a good reason for pulling such a stunt.

Luckily, I have one. Or more than a dozen; it depends how you count.

Monday, December 5, 2011

So you want to hike the Appalachian Trail?

Okay okay. So, another Appalachian Trail blog? What am I thinking you ask. Well, mostly I am thinking about the Trail and my upcoming thru hike, chomping at the bit to start the course. And I hereby invite you to come along for the ride. You won’t have to worry about the ticks, the stinging nettles, the sore feet, or the lack of a 46 inch TV. I’ll share the joys, the trials and tribulations, and hope that you can come along with me for a soul stretching ride.


Note: the remainder of this post has been retracted by yours truly, to be reissued in a better format. February 11th, 2012.