What date are you planning to begin your thru-hike?
Are you planning to hike northbound, southbound, or complete a flip flop?
What is your motivation for wanting to complete the hike?
The trail itself is a big motivator for my desire to complete a thru-hike. I want to see everything it has to offer: the flora and fauna, the views, the hiking community, and the trail towns.
More than that, I want to see what I am made of physically, mentally, and emotionally. My hope is to take my entire experience and use it to encourage others by showing them that challenges don't have to defeat us, but can be used as catalysts to becoming the best we can be.
How do you expect this hike will change your life?
Like any event I haven't lived through myself, I can only speculate how a thru-hike will change my life. I won't actually know until I complete the experience. I anticipate a thru-hike will make me even more confident and independent. Decisions regarding food, shelter, water, and how many miles to cover that day will be, ultimately, my responsibility. If I fail, it will be because of me. However, if I succeed, it will be because I had a support system.
While it's not in my nature to depend upon people, I know I will be humbled to do so. A thru-hike is not possible without the kindness and generosity of complete strangers to offer a ride to town or back to the trail-head, to make room for you in a shelter, or open their home for a shower and meal.
Describe your backpacking experience. How long have you been doing it? What's the longest trip you've done?
Although hiking has been part of my life since childhood, I didn't start backpacking until 2012. My first trip was 2 days, 1 night with two other women. It was one of the hardest (and, I admit, the scariest) things I had done, up to that point. A few years later, I completed my first solo trip, by accident. Yes, there is a story there. This year, I completed my longest trip: 7 days, 6 nights hiking 107 miles through Shenandoah National Park.
What else should we know about you?
Born and raised in Maine, I climbed Mt. Katahdin at the age of 12. I moved to Virginia in 2007 with my husband and son. My employer has graciously granted a six-month leave of absence (without pay) so that I may thru-hike. I am blessed.