BENEFITING: Appalachian Trail Conservancy
I am planning on a long distance backpack trip to hike the Appalachian Trail (AT) as a thru hiker for 2016. The AT is approximately 2,200 miles long and passes through fourteen states. A thru hiker is someone who is attempting to complete the entire trip within a twelve month period. Growing up in Western Massachusetts accomplishing a thru hike has been a lifelong dream. I have had people tell me "you will never do that" and quite frankly the excuses not to, are easy to come by. Since moving to Michigan in 1999 I have done absolutely zero backpacking and focused on other aspects of my life. Over time I have felt this urge to get back in touch with nature but I wasn't quite sure how or what. For the past several years I have been browsing cabin listings in Northern Michigan dreaming of a nice 10 acre property with a basic cabin. As I thought through such a large purchase, I realized that long weekends or extended vacation visits just wouldn't satisfy what was driving me. Hike the trail! The more I thought about it, the more I read and researched the more passionate I became. An excruciating mental and physical journey that includes carrying your own supplies and shelter sounded like just the challenge I needed. Following a leave no trace behind policy and being considerate to the environment along my journey seemed to fall short. I wanted to try and also do something for The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC). The ATC is a national not-for-profit organization that leads a cooperative effort of preserving, maintaining, community engagement and education. They work with 31 Trail maintaining clubs to manage the entire AT. I wanted to do something to help these fantastic organizations while I take on this amazing journey. This is my story and why I am staring a crowdrise fundraiser for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.