Hello! My name is Nick and I thank you for taking a look at my blog. Covering over 2,100 miles, the Appalachian Trail is one of the oldest hiking trails in North America and ranges from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mt. Katahdin, Maine. The trail’s founder, Benton MacKaye, never intended for it to be hiked beginning to end; nonetheless, just over 15,000 people have accomplished a thru hike since the trail’s completion in 1937. Some 2,000 hikers will attempt a thru-hike this year; 40% will leave the trail within the first month and only 22% will make it all the way to Maine. If a hiker can survive 5 plus months of bitter cold nights, days and days of endless rain, times of near starvation, solitude, bugs, rocks and injury, they will earn themselves the title of a Thru-Hiker and join the 2,000 mile club.
Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail has been a dream of mine since 2005 when I vacationed with my now wife in the Smokey Mountains. It was here at a gift shop where I purchased White Blaze Fever by Bill Schuette; I have been obsessed with the AT ever since. I never really thought I would have the opportunity to attempt my hike but in early 2014 I brought my plan up to my wife as I have done 100 times before, and even though the conversation still ended with her in tears, as it had done 100 times before, she agreed the timing was finally right and that she fully supported my decision. And so here we are. On March 1st, 2015, I will attempt to accomplish a goal that has dominated my thought and kept me up at night for the last 10 years.
Why this sounds fun to me I honestly don’t know. It is often said that every thru hiker is searching for something; I suppose this is true of myself. I don’t know what it is I seek, but I hope to find it. To be honest, I seriously doubt I will make it all the way to Maine this year. Years and years of ankle injuries have worn down the ligaments in my feet which now require surgery to ever be fully repaired. I will continue walking as long as they will let me and then walk some more. My dad always said if you are “gonna be stupid, you better be tough”, and dammit I’m tough! I want to thank my wife, without her loving support I would not have the chance to accomplish my goal. To my family and friends, I love you all and hope to see you soon…but not too soon! I’m 32, have no hiking or backpacking experience, two bad ankles but plenty of time. With a little walking and a lot of luck, I will see you in Maine.