April 19th 2016It’s time! The past 6 plus months have been bearable. I survived my days by reflecting on the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. I also spent a great deal of time imagining what the Continental Divide Trail would be like and of course a little planning. Thru hiking ruined me for the good. I cant go a day without thinking about the trails and dreaming of being on them. Follow your heart!
My heart is always full with a pack and trail to follow!
I was blessed to enjoy four road trips to the woods of the UP in Michigan with my main man and one of my best friends, my father! I watched the leaves fall in October, flurries on Thanksgiving, snow dusting in January, and a few inches of snow in March. These trips were quick, but the silence and sounds of the woods relaxed and recharged my soul. Miles away from light pollution I admired thousands of stars while peeing outside at night. I got to spent time trying to identify animal tracks in the snow and relaxing in peace. Most of my belongings are now stored away in our cabin back in the woods to use someday. I realized our place in the woods is much more “wild” then the AT, PCT, and quite possibly the CDT. There is no one walking our trails and the wildlife hasn’t seen many people unless they are being hunted. I could run away and live up there forever creating my own homestead. My parents are planning to start a new chapter of their lives in the woods of Michigan instead of the suburbs of Massachusetts at the end of this year. I look forward to the possibilities that await us all.
First time standing on our lake! Usually I am paddling away.
My parents may already be living in Michigan when I’m done or I’ll have to help them move. We will see where my feet and heart take me when that time comes. My heart is still in Washington!
I cherished every moment spent with my friends wondering when we would met again. I wish they could join me on my hikes, but husbands, children, and jobs take priority.
Future thru hiker!! Class of 2032!
Thank you for supporting my dreams and believing in me. Rhonda says it best, “I’ve never seen anything make you so happy before.” I spent most of my 20s trying to conform to the society we live in. I did the professional thing working as a teacher and loving my students. I hated teaching to a test, being cooped up in small room with 29 enthusiastic students glued to seats most of the day, the politics of education, and the comments you are so young from parents. I was always complimented on my smile, positive attitude, and loved by all the students. Teaching is still a strong passion of mine and I look forward to exploring outdoor education. I would likely still be teaching at this moment if I wouldn’t have got laid off after graduating with my masters degree. I told myself that this was a sign after weeks of heartache and another year of long term subbing to be turned away from a classroom position. My mind became fascinated with the Appalachian Trail in 2013 and the rest is now history. April 13th to September 29th 2014 I defeated the AT while falling in love with the lifestyle. I lost 65 pounds and found my inner athlete again.
Myself, Popeye, and Karate Kid at Southern Terminus
Myself and Skeeter Bait at Northern terminus
April 20th to October 2nd 2015 I completed the PCT. I loved every step and the great diversity! From the terrain to the wildlife, I learned so much.
This Friday April 22nd, Earth Day, is when I will embark on the CDT.
The mountains are still calling my name and will likely never stop. I will make the woods of the UP my home base for my 30s as I hope to continue exploring our country. When all you need to travel is a backpack, the possibilities are endless! I am currently on a plane flying to Atlanta, Georgia admiring the Appalachian Mountains.
Moments like these make me realize the accomplishments I’ve made in the last two years.
My heart is full of hopes for a safe and wonderful thru hike. I am mentally stronger than I’ve ever been. I am the strong and independent woman that emerged on the Appalachian Trail. I am more patient, calm, and grateful thanks to my months on the Pacific Crest Trail. I will be struggling the first few weeks to get back into thru hiker form. I look forward to the lessons that the Continental Divide Trail will teach me. I thought the Appalachian Trail would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. I never imagined two years ago at this time that I would be going for my triple crown. I never imagined it would be back to back to back. I’m full of hope and love. Bring on the brutality! This sassy girl can take anything you want to thrown at me. ❤️Sass