What are my plans for 2021? I have been getting a ton of emails asking that exact question and if I will be returning to the Appalachian Trail. I figure it is about time that I post a video and blog post to answer that question. If you would rather watch what my plans are instead of reading about them, the video is at the end of this post.
Will I Return to the Appalachian Trail in 2021?
Yes! As long as everything goes according to plan (2020 has shown us that even the best plans get ruined) I will be headed back out to the trail in March. I have a huge milestone going on in May and another one in August, so I will have to come home for both of those.
What are my plans for 2021?
I will head back out in March and April and start where I left off (Unicoi Gap). In May, I will come home to get Clayton (aka Bubbanator as he is known in my videos) ready to graduate from High School! He is my baby of 4 kids, so this is a pretty huge deal not only because he is graduating but also because he is the baby; that means no more kiddos in the house. I am about to be an empty nester (I have mixed feelings about that)!
I will return to the trail in June & July. In August I will leave the trail again to get Bubbanator settled into his dorm (wherever that may be) and so I can attend Sturgis for the first time. My Mom and Step-Dad have been borderline begging my husband and I to go with them for years and I always keep saying maybe next year, except for this past year (before Covid hit). I promised my Mom we would go with them in 2021 since I would be skipping 2020 due to hiking the AT. Funny how that all worked out?! LOL. Anyway, I made a promise, so a promise I will keep.
I will return to the trail to finish up sometime in August.
This means that I more than likely will do some flip flopping along the trail. It just depends on where I get off of the trail in July.
Anyway, those are my plans for 2021. I realize that they may have to change if Covid is still holding on strong (at least until my son graduates), I am hoping it won’t be the case, because I would really like to be back on trail…like NOW! LOL.
UPDATE MARCH 14, 2021: A couple of weeks after posting this, my husband fell off our roof onto our concrete driveway below and required emergency surgery. He was out of work for 3 months due to his injury which caused us to use the savings I had for my first section of the AT. No worries, he is about 90% back to normal and back to work. So, my start date is now June 1, 2021, and my son will be joining me for my June & July portion. We will start at Harpers Ferry and head North. Because I want him to summit, we more than likely will have to jump ahead at some point. We will leave the trail at the beginning of August so I can get him settled into Arizona State University (there will be no Sturgis again as his date for moving into his dorm and Sturgis coincides with each other). From there, as long as everything goes according to plan, I will head back out to the trail, do any section we had to jump forward to, and then turn and head South from Harpers Ferry and hopefully finish up! Oh, and 2 Cents will also be joining me! Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube to watch the daily videos that I will be posting once I head back out!
What’s 2020 Been Like Since I Left the Trail?
Let me tell you, because dealing with all things COVID wasn’t crazy enough, the last part of 2020 has been crazy busy for us.
Virtual High School
My son went on Spring Break last year and never returned to in-person learning. They did virtual learning for the rest of the year and it was HORRIBLE, thankfully the grades didn’t count even though he still got good grades. But, it created a LOT of stress!
For the first two weeks of this school year, the school district decided to do all virtual learning and then allow those that wanted to do in person, come back. My son does not do well with virtual learning, so the first couple of weeks wasn’t pleasant. Not to mention I am still trying to get them to clear absences from those first two weeks. Yes, they counted him absent even though he logged into each class every day and did all school work. I know this happened because I sat next to him the entire day working while he did Zoom meetings all day.
Cancelled SAT’s & Narrowing Down Colleges
Bubbanator was supposed to take his SAT’s last Spring, but Covid hit and they got canceled then rescheduled then canceled. This went on up until last month when he finally was able to take them. We also had no clue how to do this whole college thing. My other three children didn’t go to college and either went to (or are planning on) going to trade schools, so we had no idea how this process worked, and with school canceled we had no one to help us navigate. Because of this, he had not narrowed down college choices until just 3 days ago!!!!
He has now begun the process of filling out college applications. Typically this would be 2-3 colleges, however, it was suggested by those that are in the know of how college acceptance rates are, etc… that due to all those that deferred this year and will instead be starting with the 2021 class, that it would be best to apply to 8-10 colleges!!!!! So Bubbanator is dealing with trying to keep his grades up (2 are AP classes), study for the SAT (he takes it again this week), and apply to colleges. Poor kid. I am helping as much as I can, but there is only so much I can do. Welcome to adulthood son!
Unexpected deployment with FEMA
My husband (who is now a mechanic on ambulances) was deployed with FEMA due to Covid for over 2 months. It was completely unexpected, we had very short notice (thank goodness the Military taught me to be used to last-minute changes lol). So within 12 hours of getting the call that he was for sure going to go, he was gone!
During his deployment, he somehow managed to finish college and graduate with his Bachelor’s! When he left, he only had 6 weeks of classes left, thankfully they were all online and his Student Advisor was understanding and was able to get him extensions for his assignments if needed. He’d work 12-18 hour days, go to the hotel and do his college before heading to bed so he could do it all over again the next day.
Finally Replaced my Truck
I finally replaced my truck from the head on collision over a year ago. It was well overdue and since it was apparent that I would not be heading back to the trail in 2020, I decided there wasn’t really a reason to wait any longer. She’s the exact same make and model as my last one, just a 2020 instead of 2017. I have named her Rona.
It’s only October
Realizing that we still have 2.5 months left of this year and things are just so chaotic right now! We will still do our annual Christmas Lights to Music (which means the lights start going up here in a couple of weeks). The lineup of songs hasn’t even been picked yet! Not to mention programming (thankfully that is my husband’s job lol)!
Video of my Plans for 2021
Here are my plans for 2021 in video format, if you’d rather watch it this way =)
So, I guess that wraps it up. I feel like I am forgetting something, thankfully this is a blog post so if I am I can just come back later and edit it!
What are your plans for the rest of 2020 and going into 2021? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear them!