Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Just 2,134 Miles to Go – Section Strolling the AT

In a mere two and a half years, I’ve managed to hike 44 miles, an astonishing 2% of the way from Georgia to Maine. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. I’ve only gone 43.75 miles. But, I’m most definitely on the way to a major accomplishment.

Caution – Danger – Be Warned

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy website lists 32 published AT memoirs. The number of hikers completing the entire trail has roughly doubled every decade since the 70s. Obviously, these memoirs are contagious. The more people who hike the trail and live to tell, the more people hear about the AT. It’s an insidious process really.

One night at dinner, I found a thru-hiker had been deposited at my dining room table. She was a friend of a friend of a friend. Upon arriving she proceeded to eat a full portion of my beloved in-season brussels sprouts while declaring that they didn’t really “agree with” her. Unfortunately, I’d misplaced my BB gun. As if inappreciatively scarfing my brussels sprouts wasn’t egregious enough, she began bragging. Apparently, while thru-hiking, she could eat anything in any amount and still lose weight.

Her words set off several elemental aspects of my character. My vanity, gluttonous tendencies and jealously entwined. The snarling mess of black emotions and desires tautened and then snapped, launching me into the wilderness.

The moral of the story, don't listen to the idle prattle of others (in person, blogged or published). You never know where it might lead. It's set my smooth slow self on The 30 Year AT Plan. Only, 72.6 miles needed each year (never mind that my average thus far has been 20). If you follow this blog, you might catch it too. Then, like me, you'll be grinning like a goon at the green mosses and brown fungal goos found along the trail.

[Note: above map is from the ATC website]

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