Two weeks ago I went to a annual Christmas family reunion party. I always enjoy going to these the older I get. It’s funny how I know all, if not most, of the older people yet, the younger crowd I’m completely clueless as to who is who. While I was there I was talking with one of my older cousins about my upcoming journey. He told me he has hiked the trail in several spots over the past thirty years but hasn’t gone the whole thing from beginning to end. He seemed awfully surprised when I told him my sleeping bag is rated to 40°F. I’m figuring that when I start hiking in mid Feb that with my layers and the sleeping bag I should be fine plus, I’ll have the tent too which would help block some of the wind. *mental note- I should email them about this to see if I am correct*. He told me he has a book he wants me to read that is about the trail. A few days later I get the book in the mail. I haven’t had time to read it yet but I’m looking forward to getting some of it read next week. Seems like it would be a fast read since the font is bigger than most the fonts in books I read.
The following week my siblings and I had an estate sale. Naturally, I didn’t want to be anywhere near that. Its bad enough my mom pasted last Oct. but now we are at the point that we can’t keep the house, let alone fix it up. Almost forty years in this house that I have always called home. So I went up to Charlotte to hang out with a friend and have some much needed therapy by doing some hiking in the mountains. The mountains ended up getting about 6-8″ of snow. It was nice seeing that white stuff again. I do miss seeing snow since I moved back to SC. The Blue Ridge Parkway was closed and some other spots she had in mind to hike were closed as well. Alas we found a spot and hiked about a half mile before we were on the top. Up there was when I started getting really nervous. Having to watch every little step I took. Snow and ice is unforgiving and if I slipped then I’m sure I would be done for cause there was nothing really to grab on to. When we were on the way back to her place she mentioned she had a book for me to have. That book is called “Walking with Spring” by Earl Shaffer, the first person to complete the trail in it’s entirety. I got some reading to do. I hope to get some really great tips from both books.
Sorry for not posting in a while. I have been going through a lot of personal stuff lately and it has been causing a lot of stress mentally as well as emotionally. I do plan to keep up with this and I hope things will look better in two weeks. As for now I won’t post until then. Just wanted to give people the heads up. I haven’t forgotten. Just dealing with a lot of family related stuff I never have had to deal with.
So, I have a few people who have asked me if I have started a gofundme page cause they said they would like to donate. I think it is a bit silly but if that is their way of showing me support the by all means. Please donate
I have been doing a lot of research on the best materials to bring along the trail. Which is very important seeing how materials are easier to breath vs other hold in sweat. I hope to get that post up this weekend.
Yesterday was a hard day. It has been a year since I lost my mom. As the older I got I didn’t see my parents as parents but, more as really close friends. Before my mom passed I told her I was going to hike the Appalachian trail. Naturally, she thinks it’s a crazy idea. I ended up getting a few documentaries and started watching them. Then I showed my mom one of them to give her an idea of what I’m going to be getting into. She seemed worried but not as much as she was before. We learned about Trail Days. She wanted to meet up with me here to check up on me and to share a few memories. I’m not sure if I’ll be near here or past this point by the time this happens. Either way, I’ll be thinking of her. If your parents are still alive let them know how much they mean to you. Take them out to eat or surprise them with a gift cause when they’re gone. They’re gone. Love you mom.
March 30,1950-Oct 5, 2017
Since I know really nothing about what I’m going to be getting myself into I did a little research and got a few books to help me understand more of the trail, where towns are, mental games you mind plays on you, gear materials, etc. I plan to start reading them next month
Since I live around sea level I’ll have to get use to higher elevation. Otherwise it’ll take my body longer to get use to the elevation and could slow me down. I’ve gone hiking in the mountains before only to start having a throbbing head and feeling light headed.
To prepare for this I have started incorporating the Wim Hof breathing technique. If you’ve never heard of him, your in for a treat. So, I’m doing three rounds of saturating my lungs with oxygen (30-40 deep breaths) and on the exhale of the last breath I hold it. Here are the results of the first time doing this.
For the past year I have been getting my body and mind prepared to hike the Appalachian Trail starting mid February 2018. It goes from Georgia to Maine and is about 2,200 miles/3,500km long. I have been doing things from running/biking several miles to cryotheraphy to reading about the trails and knowing the terminology along the trail.
This will document my journey with its good times and bad.