March 20, 2016. The first day of spring, and the beginning of our adventure. As winter fades away to welcome spring, so does the stress of preparing for this big adventure to welcome the next chapter in our lives. The last few months, but particularly this last week before we had left to head to Georgia from Maine has been a whirlwind of emotions. And a never ending list of things that need to be done. To think people are calling us brave for what we are doing makes me laugh a little. Mainly because right now I feel like we are chickens… Walking around with our heads cut off because of all the things that we needed to do.
We have been researching for months, testing and retesting our gear systems. We have been making meals, dehydrating them and then packaging them. We then have been putting them in priority mail boxes to have them sent to us later on down the trail. We have been cleaning out our apartment-tossing things, donating and packing what we think we need to keep (How two people who have everything we think we need to have for six months in a backpack have so much stuff in an apartment is beyond me).
We have had a tremendous amount of support from our family, friends and even strangers. Making time on top of everything else we are doing to see everyone before we set out on foot for several months has been great but difficult. You don’t realize how much support you have from people sometimes until something big like this is about to happen (Thank you!)
Here we are, March 21st. Spring has just begun and so has our journey. The idea of hiking the Appalachian Trail was just a seed years ago. Then that seed was planted about a year ago. Today, it’s sprouting out of the ground like a beginning of a flower. With all this love, and support from everyone we are about to blossom.
There will be rain. Heck, maybe even snow which may try to stop us from blossoming. There was even talk of a nor’easter right as we were driving down. Well, us Norsters will be Norstorming that nor’easter so it doesn’t knock us down. The problems which we encounter will just need to be weeded out.
The things we have taken so much time and effort to prepare for before this trek may work, may not. That’s OK. Everything in life just needs a little trial and error sometimes.
The feeling I had as I snapped the last strap to my backpack as we left our empty apartment with nothing else was refreshing. I realized this was really about to happen. Excited, scared, anxious. We have been so sick of all the planning and preparing part and have just wanted to start.
Here we are, with about another 715 miles more to go to get to Georgia. Hopefully I don’t jinx us with saying so far- so good. We have made it safely to Pennsylvania with multiple breaks on the way down.
I write this from the finest hotel, which costs about $50 a night, allows dogs and has a great view of the highway. The decor is likely circa 1977, every electronic makes a screeching noise when turned on, the towels have holes, the pillowcases say their name, there’s no fitted sheet and there’s about 5 foot distance from the bathroom and the bed so you don’t miss anything which is going on.
Living like this would drive some people crazy. We are just living, and we are likely crazy-but that’s okay. Not all flowers are the same, some just need to be wild to thrive. So goodbye winter, you were fun but Spring has sprung and the journey has just begun.