The story that follows is the transcription of the daily journal that I kept while southbound thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) from Maine to Georgia over a 165 day period. I have largely resisted the urge to edit and revise the original manuscript so that the story better reflects the best and worst realities of the A.T. Thru-Hiker: the joy and pain, the fatigue, the fear, and the occasional emotional meltdown.
Before hiking the Appalachian Trial, I had never spent much time backpacking or camping, and I first discovered the Appalachian Trial when I was a teenager. It was then that one of my older brother’s friends, trail name Screaming Coyote, successfully hiked the AT. I forgot about the AT for years. But in my last year of college, in crisis about my life’s purpose, I remembered the trail. I saw it as an opportunity for reflect, introspection, and transition between college and the working world.At the end of the spring semester, I left for Maine.
I spent much of my time alone on the trail, but I had wonderful and colorful encounters with locals, animals, and other hikers. This is a story that has a beginning and end like any other, but each day is a story in and of itself. I encourage you to read the following pages from the perspective of the thru-hiker, putting yourself in the mindset to experience through the pen of a thru-hiker the emotion, humility, and education that come from nearly six months in the mountains. Happy Reading and Happy Hiking.