This has been year’s in the making and when I step foot on the trail I will have been planning this “trip” for almost 3 years! I can’t believe that in just about 7 months I will start my journey.
I notified my parents about my plans about a year ago. My husband and children have known for almost 2 years. In fact, my husband (who retires from the Army on December 31, 2019, after 25 years) was supposed to make this journey with me but has decided to start working immediately after. I always planned to do this solo, so I am ok with his decision. But, if he ends up coming along, it will be a happy bonus!
My parents still think he is coming with me….um surprise! I figured this was the easiest way to announce it haha. Don’t worry I won’t be alone on the trail!
But, it is getting real now! I registered with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy with my start date!
I was actually planning on making this announcement on June 14th, but on my way to do a “training” hike so I could also video my announcement, a distracted driver hit me head-on (story here).
Q & A’s About This Decision
So, I have gotten a lot of questions from friends and family and thought I would answer the most common ones here:
Why in the F@$! do you want to walk 2200 miles in the woods?
How long will it take you?
I am planning that it will take me 5-6 months.
But I mean you won’t actually be out there for an entire 5-6 months, right? You will be staying in hotels every night and traveling right? I mean it isn’t 5-6 months of walking every day?
No, I will not be staying in hotels every night. My hotel is the woods and a night sky. I will not be hiking every day, no. I will take what is called a zero probably about 1 day a week. But the rest time, yes I will be hiking from sun up to probably about 4-5pm daily (depending on when the sun sets).
What about food, how will you get food? You are going to starve!
The great thing about the Appalachian Trail is that for most of the trail minus a 100-mile section, there are towns all along it. I will go into a town every 4-5 days to resupply.
Wait, so you won’t shower every day?
I will take a baby wipe bath =) But no, I will not be showering every day. Yes, I will stink. No, I nor the other hikers will care!
Won’t you be scared?
Of what? Snakes? Y’all know those bastards freak me out so bad!
Well no, I mean like aren’t you scared of being murdered?
Look I know all horror movies seem to start or end with a girl walking in the woods, but I am safer on the trail then you are sitting in your home within the city.
Aren’t you scared of being alone at night, in the woods?
I don’t understand the question. Like scared of what? The boogie man? No, I stopped believing in him when I was younger. Big Foot? I think he is only on the West Coast. Of animals and noises? No, I tend to sleep better listening to them, sometimes I do get irritated and yell at them to shut up especially if they are close by making a ruckus. On my LSHT hike, one night wild hogs were making all kinds of noises along with a damn owl, but the most irritating was the coyotes the last night (if you have never heard them howl it is like the most irritating sound ever)!
What do your children think about you being gone that long?
I am sure they are planning a party! Seriously, 3 of them are adults themselves with their own lives. My baby of the bunch will be 17 when I step onto the trail and he thinks it sucks because he isn’t out there with me.
What does your husband think? I can’t believe he is letting you do this!
Let me? That’s cute! He’s 100% supportive of any decision I ever make. I am (and have always been) independent and strong-willed. I am what they call an alpha female (so I am told) but that does not mean that I didn’t ask him how he would feel with me leaving for 6 months. He is going to miss me but knows this is something I have wanted to do for a long time. He also knows how much I love hiking and being outdoors. He, at one point, even decided he wanted to do this with me which is why I moved my date to Feb 2020 (so he would be retired and could), however, within the past month as retirement nears he has decided to take on a job right after retirement.
What about your parents, how do they feel about this?
Well, my Mom thinks I am going to get eaten by a bear and my Dad and Step-Mom think I am going to eat fermented berries, get drunk and fall off a cliff. Guys, I have no idea where they come up with this crap!
Will you be blogging or vlogging along the way?
Yes! I plan to vlog daily and will upload to my YouTube as service allows but they will be separated into days. I also plan to blog but I am not sure how often, probably twice a week. If I start getting into a grove I may do short blog posts with pictures daily. We will just have to see how things go!
Any Further Questions?
If you have any questions for me regarding this upcoming thru-hike, comment below and I will answer them in another Q&A session.