A few years ago, my partner casually mentioned a post that he had seen on Reddit:
“Hey, Rayana.. There’s this thing called the Appalachian Trail. It’s 2,000 miles and some people hike it in 1 season. There’s also a harder trail called the Pacific Crest Trail, with snow and desert, on the west coast. Wanna do them?”
“What kind of crazy person would do that!?”
I didn’t know it at the time, but my life was forever ruined in that single moment. (Thanks a lot!)
We both went back to life as usual, and forgot about the trails for a long time. One day, I got sick of downtown Chicago high-rise living and started to dream about trees, mountains and fresh air. We bought gear, loaded our packs, and went on a 5 day hike across Glacier National Park.
It was an amazing trip, and I was hooked on hiking. And now, I had a dangerous dose of confidence to boost. Somehow, I knew if I could hike 5 days, I could hike the AT. And, I knew if I could hike the AT, then I could probably do anything.
In the spring of 2013, I quit my job and started walking north on the Appalachian Trail. By October, I was in Maine on the summit of Mt Katahdin. I had done it… I was a thru-hiker.
It was the end of that trail, but not the end of my hiking adventures. Since then, I have completed the Florida Trail (2014), Pacific Crest Trail (2014), Colorado Trail (2015), Wonderland Trail (2016) and San Diego Trans-County Trail (2017). On May 1st, 2017, I started the big daddy of all trails: the Continental Divide Trail.
Because you only live once.
Darn. Maybe I was crazy after all?
“Mighty Oaks From Little Acorns Grow”