… it’s been on FaceBook, right? Well even though I’ve told a few people privately and alluded to it a bunch of times, here’s my official announcement:
I’m going to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail beginning in early March 2013. After more than a 1/4 century of wishing and dreaming, I finally am making this happen.
With Mother Nature’s good graces, I plan a March 5th step off and summit Mt Katahdin on Sept 29, 2013, my 60th birthday.
I am SO excited and SO stoked for this! It’s in the forefront of my mind constantly!
Please do ask questions! Here are the questions I am most commonly asked:
1. You’re going WITH someone, right?
Well … no. I do know a few people where are also starting on the same day and we’ll likely often camp nights in the same place but we’re not hiking together.
2. Is it safe to hike alone?
It’s probably safer than living here in Rochester. There will be others on the trail also if something were to happen to me.
3. How far is that?
How long will it take? 2,184 miles. 5-6 months. One way. 😉 All the way from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mt Kadahdin in Maine. (see map below)
4. Does this mean you’re going to miss fest?
Miss my tribe?? Nooooo way! It will take some planning but I should be able to get a ride from the trail in to JFK, fly to GR, and take the shuttle in. I’ll just do the reverse to get back to the trail.
5. Won’t that be scary and hard? Aren’t you afraid?
Parts of it will be scary and most of it will be very hard but I’m not afraid. [insert Helen Redding singing “I Am Woman”]
6. Are there bears/snakes/spiders? Yes. Also raccoons, skunks, and porcupines. What will you do if you see a [insert wild critter]? Hello!!! I will take it’s photo!!! If you are my friend, you should already know this! LOL! Then I will quietly avoid it and carry on.
7. What will you do about food and water?
I will find water along the way, filter it with a hankie, and purify it with ultraviolet light. Some of my food will be dehydrated and packaged ahead of time and mailed for me to pick up at various post offices along the way. The rest of my food will be purchased at local grocery stores in towns.
8. Will you have cell phone signal or internet?
This might be a mixed blessing but I’m told I will have Verizon service nearly the entire trail. Computers and internet are generally available at hikers hostels and in town libraries.
9. Why are you doing this? Why now?
I’ve been a wanderer and explorer for as long as I can remember. What’s over that horizon, around that bend, down that abandoned road? There’s something in me that PULLS to explore. And why now? Heh. I’ll have a few vlog/blog entries on that but basically … I’m nearly 59 right now. If not now, when?
10. How will we know where you are and if you’re okay?
I plan on putting up a blog detailing my journey, both the trail portion and the inner portion. I hope to video on a near daily basis to “take folks along with me” who can’t hike the trail for themselves.
The above was posted on my FB wall and got a LOT of responses: