On a recent call, my mom tried to tell me to go on an African safari instead of hiking the AT. I understand her feelings. It’s hard to imagine your only daughter lugging a pack over 2000+ miles of mountains. But that’s precisely what drew me to the AT. I want to hike this trail, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. I want to hike it because so many people fail to reach Katahdin in a single year. Will I make it?? I crave a really epic, life-altering, butt-kicking kind of challenge. Life has gotten to be too easy.. college, the real world, jobs, love… I feel like I’ve been handed most things in life and I’ve just been cruising on auto-pilot. That worries me.
I crave something that will shake me to my core… something that will scare me. I know there will be rough days ahead on the trail. In fact, I fully expect to find myself curled up in the fetal position on the trail crying at some point (hopefully not in Georgia!). If humans never tried anything hard, we would still be cavemen. Instead, humans go to the tops of mountains.. to the depths of the sea.. to the moon. It’s what makes us human: our thirst for adventure.
I feel the magnetic pull to Katahdin.. to this weather-beaten sign on an isolated mountaintop in Maine:
And mom? …. I still want that African safari, but maybe when I’m 50. 😉
[Photo used with permission from jsstylos.com. Thank You!]