This article originally appeared on The Trek, which can be read here: https://thetrek.co/appalachian-trail/and-so-our-story-begins/

“Load the car and write the note, grab your bag and grab your coat, tell the ones that need to know, we are headed North.” -The Avett Brothers

Introduction

Holy s*#t it’s here. It’s time. In only two days, I set out heading north from Springer Mountain on the greatest adventure of my life. Final destination: Mt. Katahdin in Maine

The Highs and Lows

After nearly four years of real planning and preparing and over a decade of dreaming, I at last embark upon the great crusade that is an Appalachian Trail thru hike. Am I nervous? Uh, yeah I’m pretty f*&$#%^ nervous! I’m about to leave everything behind for months and live outside in the woods as I walk two thousand, one hundred, and ninety f#$*^$% miles!! Every possible scenario is running through my head; every mistake, every fault, every high and low, all potential for glory or defeat.

But I’m also really f*&#$% excited! I’ve never done anything close to this. My longest backpacking trip was two weeks and I loved it! To be able to expand that to nearly six months is a prospect that fills me with so much joy! I’m looking forward to the new places and new people and all the adventures that a thru hike entails. I’m drunk on the anticipation waiting for the real thing to kick in!

Springer Mountain, Here I Come!

As I sit in this hotel in Gainesville waiting the excruciatingly long time between check-in and check-out, I can only think of all the exciting, crazy, and hard days ahead of me and I can’t freakin’ wait to get out on trail! I can’t wait to sleep in my hammock, to meet other thru hikers, to cross rivers and state lines as I meander my way up towards Maine. See you on trail!

P.S. As I begin my journey, my posts going forward will be written, edited, and posted from my phone rather than my PC. Expect a little wonky-ness as I get the formatting all sorted out.

P.P.S. Did anyone catch what the title of this post is a reference to?

P.P.P.S. OK, I’ll admit, I just wanted a post-post-post-script here.

Please consider a donation to Hike for Mental Health to help fund research and treatment for mental illness:

https://www.hikeformentalhealth.org/hikers/wes-laudemans-at-hike-for-mental-health/

Posted by Wes Laudeman

Writer, hiker, and future teacher, I'm looking for stories and adventures that will last a lifetime.

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