10 Days to Blast-off!


HikeItForward-Final-MediumI remember making a countdown calendar on June 30 with 300 blocks to check off prior to the start of my Appalachian Trail thru-hike. I can recount the excitement I experienced on October 9th when I saw the number of days move to 199 (under 200 days)! Then January 17th appeared on my cell phone and I crossed off the 100 day marker to enter into double digits. The wild March weather of snow and ice brought the accounting down to 50 days on the 7th of the year’s 3rd month. My birthday decreased the countdown to 38 days, April’s Fool’s Day saw 25 days, but today is the last day of double digits – two hands full of sunrises, a number to which even my twin two-year-old granddaughters can count – ten. Now I feel a little bit like a rocket ship ready for blast-off. 10, 9, 8, 7, …..3, 2, 1…ignition!

It is amazing all the things that must be addressed before leaving the world of civilization for 4-5 months. Household details, banking needs, and even some legal matters to get in order (no, I am not getting my name officially changed to Rowdy, although I did think about it). I am still putting together some small items for the pack. I have weighed everything and I am in the process of determining what goes and what stays behind. I have pretty well decided that the TV and the camp table need to remain in Ohio.

Outside Close-upThe To Do List at work is rather long, but I have some great co-workers that will more than adequately cover for me while I am hiking the trail. The last few days have been filled with meetings, interviews, and planning for the days ahead. This is Spring Break at the school so the students are gone so my focus has been on the administrivia that often dominates my ministry.

Rain, cold, and even snow have made hiking a little difficult in the early part of this week – but the next few days promise some sunshine and high temperatures in the 60s. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday will demand a local hike regardless of the temperature and precipitation. I still need about 60 miles to reach my pre-hiking goal of 2200 miles. As long as God agrees, my plan for next week is to work through Thursday, travel on Friday and start the A.T. on Saturday.

Ten days…. wow, how quickly the time has gone.

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Backpack, Gear, Hiking, Rain, Snow, Thru-Hike | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “10 Days to Blast-off!

  1. True Grit

    Dr. D, I’ve been reading your blog for sometime now. It’s exciting to see someone local hiking the trail that will also be keeping a regular journal. Take it easy the first few weeks, training in the metroparks doesn’t compare to the Georgia mountains. Good luck on your trip!
    -True Grit-

    • Thanks, True Grit, for following my blog and for the good advice. I sure don’t want to burn out during the first week because I have tried to hike the trail too fast (the tortoise strategy, slow and easy, more than the rabbit pace). The adrenaline of the hare might be hard to restrain but I will take your caution and wisdom to heart.

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