The Fever For Hiking

When Carrie and I met, we would take day hikes in Henry Horton State Park. They’re really was no view. At least nature wise. I did have a beautiful girl to stare at as we walked and that was good enough for me. I wasn’t too concerned about finding squirrels or some oak leaf. I was more concerned with spending time with this awesome girl I had met. So we would go for walks for hours and just talk about everything. Over time we would end up going to Chattanooga and hitting plenty of trails there doing day hikes, Fall Creek Falls to hike as well as other state parks near our home. It never once occurred to me to do a 3-4 day hike or longer.

After Carrie and I were married, we went to Georgia to a resort just below Mount Springer, the southern trail head for the Appalachian Trail. I had never heard of the AT but Carrie and I decided to walk up Amicalola Falls on the right side where there is a hiking trail. We reached the top and Carrie had brought along a small back pack with water and chocolate. She handed me a piece of chocolate that had printing on the wrapper. Wanna know what was printed on the wrapper. Yea… I don’t remember. It’s not important. What is important is I didn’t realize this was the beginning of something bigger that would give me a drive for a new adventure. I’m always wanting to try something new.

We decided to return to the bottom of the falls and so we traversed the steps that led up the left side of the falls. There’s about 600 steps from the top to bottom. Yes, that is a lot of steps. We met would-be thru-hikers making their way up those steps with 40 lb. packs on their backs. It still didn’t dawn on me that would be fun. In fact, I thought it was idiotic. One of the tourist items I picked up was a book by Bill Bryson called A Walk In The Woods. Little did I know that this would spark something deep inside. As I read it, I was glued with anticipation. I couldn’t put it down as he described his “walk” through the AT, from Mt. Springer to Mt. Katahdin.

Over the next few years I would go on to read Hiking Through by Paul Stutzman and Wild by Cheryl Strayed. These books make me dream what it would be like to spend 6 months walking 2200 miles from Georgia to Maine. I would talk about it with Carrie and dream a little more. I would get on websites and read trail journals from those who have hiked the AT. I just began thinking that maybe I wanted to do this too. As I studied more, I learned that it would take near $6,000 and six months of not working to walk the AT. This is basically an impossibility. Section hiking? Maybe. Through hiking. No!

So what better than to do some small few day hikes and maybe week hikes. Which leads me to why I’m writing this.

I’ve decided to… (Stay tuned)


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