Leaving on a couple of jet planes.


I. Am. At. The. Airport.

It’s time for another long walk! The experience of preparing for the AT has been drastically different than all of my other large trips. I’m more knowledgeable now and more seasoned in the game. I know what works and what my preferences are.

I have none of the pre-adventure jitters. Perhaps that is because the AT is in a lot of ways less of an adventure due to its minimal wildness. My main fear revolves around lymes disease. I’m worried that I’ll get it. It seems common enough among thru hikers that infections might be measured in percents, not fractions of a precent. I’d rather not get a life long illness this trip. Other fears? I’ll tire of the lack of alpine and deserts. It’ll be overly rainy.

What am I most excited about at this ticking hour? I’m excited about seeing the south, and the east. Both are places that I do not know. And, I’m exited about the people. I won’t be a party hiker, and still, it’s the relationships that draw me to this father of the long trails.

I had my farewell dinner (Steak Frittes) and cocktail (Alaska), weighed my pack (21 pounds, two days of food, no water), and put on my only pair of clothes. I have three weeks to hike, then two weeks off for a job interview. Honestly, I’d be thrilled to take the job and interrupt my hike north. If it doesn’t work out, I already gave a great plan for the next few months.

Note: Friends and family, I am carrying a satellite device and will send off my location each night. Want to see where I am on a map? Just ask.


  1. Steve

    I got lymes last summer. I was in Northeast PA visiting family. I was inside 95% of the time due to a bum knee. Of all the times I’ve been out hiking, backpacking, fishing, etc. I just happen to get it while sitting on my rear all weekend. If you happen to get the rouge tick carrying Lyme, you probably won’t find it on your body. The bullseye rash is less common than people make it out to be. EM rashes (giving the skin a blotchy look) are common along with headaches and soreness in the neck. At that point, go get checked. In my case, sleepiness and facial paralysis on my right side followed a few weeks after.)

    So, that’s my depressing story….sorry for being a fun sponge. I was one of the unlucky few. I enjoy your blog. Lots of helpful information. Enjoy the trail!

  2. joe

    No fear small percent of ticks carry lyme. ticks have to be on you for a long time (have to load up then release) before you’re at risk. Having short hair would help with finding/removing them. Gently removing them with tweezers worked best for me (lived in tick central MD for many years).

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