Ok, so starting out with something old, but I have to get it in here because I think it is funny as hell. You may have seen it already by now; and even if you don't like President Obama, this is some good stuff. I also can't believe they could find a clip where the President said "homeboy"!
Good stuff, eh? Anyhoo, onward and forward... to my big announcement....
I am officially going to hike the Appalachian Trail in 2013!!!
In 2002 (I think), I was at Clingman's Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park while on a drive down south. In walking from the parking lot to the view point (which looks a lot like a space ship if you have never seen it), you must walk directly across the Appalachian Trail with its distinguishable white blazes to mark the way. I looked at The Ex and said "We just crossed the AT! I am GOING to hike that someday!!" Well, someday is here...
A friend had a quote on her Facebook wall that sort of sums it up... to paraphrase, it said that if your goals aren't big enough to both exhilarate and terrify you at the same time, then you are not setting goals big enough. So, yeah, I have definitely found a goal big enough!! On my 39th birthday last July, I remarked to my dinner mates that 40 was not going to look anything like 39. I am leaving my life behind, and out of respect to my LTB's privacy, I will not disclose much about how that part is going down. Raingirl is supportive of my plans, although at her age I think the whole thing must seem sort of surreal to her. The Ex is going to make sure my nearly 88 year old Nana and my dad are taken care of in my absence, and I turned in my notice at work this week to make the whole thing official. I am so excited to be able to let the cat out of the bag!!!!!
Here is my plan... I am taking my SATs this month (gulp) and applying to MIT, Stanford, and UW Seattle. This is my last quarter at Tacoma Community College, so I will have the time off of school for the Spring and Summer terms. My last final is March 19th, I will work at the salon that one last weekend March 22-25 and then I will depart by car about March 27th. All I am taking with me is what I can fit in my mid-size SUV and my sense of adventure! I am driving to Bentonville, Arkansas to my besties house (DEFINE IRONY... I HATE HATE HATE WALMART AND I AM LEAVING HOME TO DRIVE TO THE WALMART CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!!!! UGH!), where I am leaving my car for the hike. After a brief visit, Bestie is going to drive me the 12 hours to the trail-head just north of Atlanta, Georgia. From there, I am on my own for approximately 6 months and the 2,200 miles that is the AT. I expect to be on the trail around April 2nd or so. It has been a LONG time since I have been backpacking, and I am not really in shape, so I am on my 85 day plan to fitness to get as ready as I can to go. I am taking my Organo Gold with me, my It Works! supplements and Greens On The Go, and my trusty albeit broken iPhone. THAT is why I need to get the dang Blogger app to work right!
Yes, I am going alone. Blissfully, wonderfully, amazingly alone. Yes, I don't expect most people to understand why I feel the need to do this! No, I am not going to die... I am not going to be eaten by a bear, die of hypothermia, be attacked or maimed, or get lost. If you really have no idea what I am doing, and you have Netflix, there is a documentary that is less than an hour long done by National Geographic about the AT. If you take some time to watch it, maybe you will better understand my craziness! This is not my first rodeo hiking in the woods with a pack on my back, sleeping in a tent or trail shelter, and cooking outside. I hiked the Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier in 2005 (100 miles in 10 days) and The Ex was with me, and he seems to think I can hike the AT, so I know I am not completely out of my mind.
I took this pic at Reflection Lakes around mile 90 of the Wonderland. See, I didn't die... and I saw bears, deer, elk, mountain goats, and a dozen other little creatures. Nobody killed me with a chainsaw (a fear of one of my coworkers!!), I slept outside, I was bitten by a zillion mosquitoes, and never got a tick stuck to me. I will be safe. And hey.... when hiking the AT.... THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT!!
That's right folks, there is an app for iPhone for the AT. Actually, there are 14, because they break it down into small segments. It uses the GPS in your phone to show you on a topographical map where you are are on the trail, major landmarks on the trail, and has a cut away to show you the elevation gain and loss over the mileage. What if my battery dies, you ask? There is even a solar charger for your phone available on eBay! See, I am not as crazy as I would seem..... :)
I will take you all on this journey with me... if you so desire, pass this blog on to your friends. Let's see if I can get a following as big as Gangnam Style! Ok, maybe not, but if it gets big enough, then I may get some advertisers, which will give my ass a paycheck while I am "Eat. Pray. Love."-ing out in the forest! ON a financial note......
In order to finance my voluntary homelessness and unemployment, I will still be selling OG and It Works!. If everyone could support my efforts by buying one box of coffee or one product from It Works! before March 25, that would go a long way towards helping my goals! Just one little box... and if you are local to me, I have some on hand and can save you the shipping. If you love the products, there is autoship... If you love it A LOT then please sign up to be a distributor under me. I will support your effort with your personal business despite being off adventuring! OG website is click here and It Works! is click here ... I am going to hold off on introducing Wildtree Herbs until I get settled somewhere. Which I won't know where that somewhere is until college letters start coming in May sometime.... so I literally have no firm plans for after the trail as of right now. So bizarre to me... I guess I am with Raingirl.... It is a little surreal.
Told you this would be long! Stay tuned as it progresses..... so for now, Ciao!
Michelle (who needs to come up with a trail name before April!!!)