Why? Is The Biggest Question of All

Mt. Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine

Cover of "The Last American Man"

Why? is the number one question I get asked when people find out what it is I did and what I would like to continue doing in the future.

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 until the age of 24, 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 left and will be leaving you, my wife the rest of the family and friends for 6 months to hike a 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 was completely under the spell of a hiking trail that I had never stepped foot on never even seen with my own eyes but it had got me, it had got me with its stories, its trail magic, its trail angels, its customs, its wildlife, its adventure, its hikers, it’s all………. Plane and simple, well and truly it had got me under a very strange almost gravitational pull and it didn’t ease up until I reached Katahdin.