UPDATE: This post is also featured on my new hiking/outdoor/nature blog here: http://woodthrushhikes.wordpress.com/
The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) will not leave me alone. I think it is obsessed with me, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Or, maybe, it’s the other way around? Ha! No way! Ok, it is. I’d like to think of it as a healthy obsession, though. Hiking is healthy, right? There are also a lot of other folks out there who are just as keen on this varying 2,100-mile trail from Maine to Georgia. So I’m not alone.
2,100 miles. Some people (give or take 500) hike the whole thing in one year, from start to finish (northbound or southbound). These are thru hikers. Some people hike the A.T. in sections, hoping to complete all sections over time; these are section hikers. I’m not sure if mileage defines a section hiker, but I did hike an 8-mile segment to Charlies Bunion last year, so perhaps technically I’m a section hiker, but I believe section hikers usually backpack for at least a few days. Either way, I’ve hiked a whole whopping 0.4% of the A.T. You’re impressed. I know
This fall, I plan on doing my first official section hike of the A.T. with my husband. I’d like to do the Georgia section, starting at Springer Mountain and ending at Standing Indian Campground, just north of the North Carolina border. This would be approximately 85 miles.
Eventually I want to thru hike the A.T., and my current plan is to be fit enough (physically, mentally, and financially) to do this in 2016, when I turn (gasp) 40. Yes, this means living in the woods for 5 to 6 months, carrying an approx. 30-pound pack on my back, filtering my water, taking care of “business” in the woods (if you know what I mean), sleeping in a tent or a shelter (see photo below), and continuing to put one foot in front of the other, until I finish.
So, what do you think??