It’s a big milestone today in my preparation for the trail. I will be starting the trail in exactly two months. It’s insane to think about. I made my decision to hike the trail back in September and now it’s two months away. Hiking the Appalachian Trail has been a dream of mine for the past 5-6 years and now it’s only 2 months away from beginning.
Two months ago I was just making it through my everyday life at my internship, waiting for the day it would be over so I could start focusing on the trail more. Well this Friday is my LAST DAY at my internship and I can’t wait to be done. I’ll have plenty of time to get my graduate school stuff out of the way in time for the Appalachian Trail. I definitely won’t be walking at graduation, but I think the AT will be a better walk than the walk across the stage to get another diploma holder. I considered making a bath robe joke there, but resisted because there are enough bath robe and shower cap jokes this time of year to beat a cat with. Or a dog. Or a grandma. Or a rocking chair. Or a microwave. Which ever one of those you find least offensive, there are enough bath robe and shower cap jokes floating around this time of year to beat it with.
I’ve been thinking about my first day on the trail, the hike up Katahdin. I’m not so much worried about the physical difficulty of it as much as I am the weather. My girlfriend and I have a campsite reserved at the Katahdin Stream campsite in exactly two months. What if the weather sucks ass that day and it’s unsafe to summit? It’s not like I can stay another night in that campsite because you have to make reservations a few months out. It would just be an unfortunate circumstance. I guess we would have to find another way to stay at Baxter for another night and hike up when it’s safer?
I feel very prepared for the trail though, other than all the food dehydrating I plan on doing after I finish my internship. In all reality, if it wasn’t for needing to finish graduate school before I set off, I would be on the trail the first day Baxter State Park opened. I’ve been preparing for 8 months already, I just want to start.
Actually, two months ago I got fired from my internship for about a day. That was an insane day and I one of my first thoughts was “how am I going to save up money for the AT?” Then I got to thinking I could just suck it up and leave right then and go northbound instead of southbound. Granted my girlfriend would have been pretty damn upset, but it was definitely an option. Then I wound up getting my job back later that day, it was just a stupid misunderstanding.
I am going to wrap this up soon. I was up until 2:30 in the morning working on my internship report and only got 3 and a half hours of sleep last night. It’s been a pretty rough evening trying to stay awake before I wanted to go to bed.
So if you know me well, which most all of you don’t, you’d know I am HUGE tree and plant nerd. I love examining trees, feeling the bark, looking for patterns in veination, making my own matching games with the tree leaf and nut or seed pod, identification, etc. I think they’re spectacular and are underrated by most of society. For my AT trip I really want to bring my Peterson Guide to Eastern Trees. I want to keep a log of as many tree species I can find and mark where I found them. Just a nerdy, personal science project. Now the Peterson Guides aren’t huge, but they’re definitely not compact. I’m really hoping to find space and weight in my pack to bring it along. That tree book is like an extension of my body, it would be hard to not bring it. But then again, I would need to find a place to put it. I know most thru hikers would tell me to definitely not bring it, but I guess I’ll just see if it’s reasonable when the time comes.
Lastly, I hope I get a kick ass trail name.
It’s either going to be the longest or shortest two months of my life coming up. I can’t wait. Also, I hope everyone is getting outside and enjoying this great spring weather on their local hiking trails. Well, it’s beautiful weather here in SW Ohio. Not so much in South Dakota and Texas currently.
Also, since I’m still a poor graduate student, I don’t have a problem sucking up to anyone for money. I started a Go Fund Me site, like some of you may know, to help pay for some of my off the trail expenses while on the trail. It would be super awesome of you to help me out 🙂 Even if it’s just a little bit. Help out a fellow adventurer. Please, please, please 🙂 If you do I will be your friend. Though if you don’t I’d still be your friend. Win-win situation for you, but you should still help me out.
Alright, enough pandering for the night.
60 days til’ Katahdin #SOBO #Maine2Georgia
“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” ~Henry David Thoreau