Friday, March 26, 2010

It's Ga-Me time, finally

“And today you know that's good enough for me
Breathin' in and out's a blessing can't you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life and I'm alive
And well...I'm alive and well” –Kenny Chesney/DMB

I'm leaving for Springer Mountain in 12 hours!  Right now I'm with my friend Will at his parent's house in Georgia.   Today we drove in 9 hours a distance that it will take me almost 2 months to hike.  Our route intersected the trail four times, and each time I was a little more eager to get going.  Tomorrow morning I'll be taking the step that I have been waiting years for- the first of the approximately 5 million steps I will walk before this is over.

Defining the dream to thru-hike the AT was gradual- I have always been intrigued by thru-hikers, have always loved the outdoors, and have always felt a particular bond with the AT. When I was 18 the pieces seemed to come together when I took my first backpacking trip and realized that someday I would thru-hike, but even then it was just in the back of my mind.

But sometimes life’s lessons are quick slaps in the face instead of gradual realizations.  A defining adventure at the end of that year humbled me and taught me that I am not invincible and lack of planning can have extreme consequences. The details are still as murky as the river water and don’t even matter- what does it that the turn of events was nothing short of miraculous (aside- Happy Birthday Catie!). That experience was also the launching point for the enthusiasm with which I generally try to approach the world.  Nobody's perfect, but I try to remind myself that life is a gift and it is our duty to make the most of it- to have no regrets, to enrich the experiences of others, and to actively seek out and enjoy as much of this beautiful world as possible.

So this trip is me living life to the fullest- who knows when I will have another chance to live out such an all-consuming dream?  This hike is me grabbing life and shaking the hell out of it.


  1. Erin, you have been, and always will be, my hero. I love you, best friend. I'm excited for you beyond words. I can't wait to hear of your adventures and stories. Go make your dream come true!

  2. hi Erin, it's Linnea, what's up? How's your ebay business going? We just had our spring musical, beauty and the beast.I wish I could go hiking someday, hope you have fun!

  3. Thanks for the shout out! Totally wish you had been here to celebrate with me (but I def drank a margarita...or your honor). Miss you lots and I hope things are going well.

  4. Hi Erin miss you lots but am SO excited for you. I am running fast at each track meet thinking of you. Love Alex