Why? Is The Biggest Question of All

Cover of "The Last American Man"

Cover of The Last American Man

Mt. Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine

Mt. Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine (Photo credit: Ben Thomas Photo)

Why? is the number one question I get asked when people find out what I will be doing next March.

The shortest answer I can give is ‘Because I NEED to’, and that is the truth. From the second I heard of this magical trail that runs through 14 states uninterrupted, and that it was possible to actually hike it from start to finish as a thruhike, that was me hooked, completely under its spell! I WILL HIKE THE ENTIRE APPALACHIAN TRAIL!! (said in the voice of a robot)

Coming from the UK I had no idea what the Appalachian Trail was, I didn’t grow up spending weekends with my dad hiking the trail and for that matter I didn’t do any sort of hiking up to about 3 years ago, so why this sudden fascination!

I need to thank a few people here starting with my Mum and Dad! Yes you are the reason I will be leaving you, my wife the rest of the family and friends for 6 months to hike the trail.

My Mum and Dad bought me the book The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert all about a man who leaves his comfortable home to go live in the Appalachian Mountains at the age of 17, that man is Eustace Conway and he still lives in the mountains to this day and he is an Appalachian Trail Thru-hiker! So thank you Elizabeth Gilbert for writing a fantastic book and sparking my imagination and thank you Eustace Conway for being my inspiration and to make me feel like I am the kind of guy that can do something like this.

Just a word of warning though, my wife doesn’t like said people very much right now so you may want to lock your doors, Dad you may want to change the locks because she has a key! HAHA only joking my wife is totally supportive and she feels this is a fantastic opportunity for me…….its either that or she is thrilled to be rid of me for 6 months (nervous laughter).

So that is my answer, I am completely under the spell of a hiking trail that I have never stepped foot on never even seen with my own eyes but its got me, its got me with its stories, its trail magic, its trail angels, its customs, its wildlife, its adventure, its hikers, it’s all………. Plain and simple, well and truly its got me under a very strange almost gravitational pull and it will not ease up until I reach Katahdin.