Friends, I am stoked, depressed, excited and worried all at the same time. Stoked. Lets start there. Tomorrow the first of the Hiking Forward AT Crew 2015 steps foot on the Appalachian Trail and starts his ( Michael "Rev" Kane ) journey on the to Katahdin. I am so happy not only for Rev but all the other Hiking Forward AT Crew members who presently have butterflies in their bellies as they approach their start date on Springer or for one hiker Katahdin.
For the past 4-5 years I have faithfully scoured YouTube for videos of people thru-hiking the AT to live vicariously through each footstep, shelter stay and re-supply in town. This year will be no different, but this year I am happy to be able to communicate directly with the Hiking Forward AT Crew as they tackle the AT. As the snow melts here in Illinois and the weather gets warmer I know its thru-hiker season at Springer. I am very happy for all the hikers who have planned and are giving it a go this year, I wish them all well. But I have to admit I am ..... UBER JEALOUS. Depressed is a strong word. Some refer to the Virginia Blues I refer to this part of the year at the AT Blues.
What I have come to seriously realize over time but also recently is that only one person is hiking all those steps yet many others have truly allowed them to take place. My dream is to take these steps. Every single one from Springer to Katahdin. In order for that to happen an amazing woman, two little girls I love a lot and my buddy "Boston" have to sacrifice to make that happen. Whether this happens sooner or later the sacrifice is the same. 5-6 months without the person they rely on and you love is a huge thing.
Understand that thru-hiking is not an easy endeavor by itself. Only 1 in 4 or so make it all the way. Without understanding that you need the people around you as much as you need them you are set up for failure in a big way.
So, as the hiking season begins on the AT... Congrats to all the thru-hikers. And don't forget the people left behind and what they are putting on hold, sacrificing to allow you to capture your dream.
And remember in those dark moments, they want you to succeed. One more step.
Keep Hiking Forward!
Hiking Forward Stickers