Future Goals: Appalachian Trail

I remember reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson nearly ten years ago, before I had ever heard of the Appalachian Trail or really knew what it was. This was far before I had ever really gotten into hiking (though as I've mentioned, mountains and hiking have always held kind of a draw for me since childhood). But in the recent years, hiking has become a saving grace for me. Long weekend hikes prepare me for the long, draining work week ahead. It is a time to appreciate the beauty around me, learn about Missouri, and get lost in my own thoughts (or have no thoughts at all!).

I have a lot of short term goals in hiking. I have never done a hike longer than 9 miles, and those have been tough for me. I have never backpacked or camped or done an overnight hike. I am still terribly out of shape and would like to lose another 20 pounds. All of these goals need to be met and conquered before I attempt my ultimate goal: The Appalachian Trail. This is an incredible commitment, and I know not attempted lightly. I would need to take 6 months off of work, be in good physical condition, and have a wealth of knowledge in backpacking, camping, and wilderness safety. But I don't think it is unobtainable. I just have to be realistic that this goal might not be met until years in the future, when I am ready. But to hike this trail from start to finish would be amazing, and a real challenge. I hope that one day, I will actually do it, and not just dream about it.

I need to find and talk to people who have actually done the trail. I need to find some good books about the Appalachian Trail hike. And when it comes time to do the trail myself, I hope I will have someone to do the trail with!