• Nico C

    Well said!! I just started following your adventures because I recently drove my friends to the AT start in GA and they pointed me to your blog. The AT has a lot of strange parallels to my Peace Corps experience. Nice writing & thanks for sharing.

  • Lori_nurse

    Very nice write! I look forward to getting that comfortable on the trail.


    The herd mentality always seems to be on the edge of our awareness doesn’t it? 

    I’m not the least bit surprised by your observations but I’ve experienced first hand what happens when you segregate a bunch of  brainwashed cattle (aka good folks like ourselves) for any period over 3 days with no access to their stimuli and “real world” distractions.

    Basically the shit hits the fan fairly quick, things then settle out and real personalities finally manifest. Then you notice symbiosis begin between kindred spirits with some simply regressing into their own world.

    The AT will expose your soul and suck out your very essence if you allow it.

    Heed Badger’s words all ho read this with the intention of setting out on this adventure yourselves.


    Derp! I meant congregate versus segregate below. 

    Hard to concentrate on writing when a very large Maine Coon cat (aka Rudy) decides to use the keyboard you are typing on for an impromptu nap.

  • Mark Dalton

    Great post. Everyone needs alone time. I would think the silence is one of the best parts about hiking.

    I would have to disagree with the marriage part though. Perhaps that would be true in an unhappy marriage. Personally I would insert “coworkers” there since there is less choice of who you work with than who you marry.

  • Zach, your telling of this life experience continues to inspire…but, uh…don’t expect to see me out there any time soon! I’m living vicariously.

  • I hope you didn’t take offense to the marriage joke- I meant it purely in jest. I’ve been married zero times- therefore my opinion on the matter is null.

    My parents came to visit as i was writing that part. They laughed- thankfully 🙂

  • Thanks for the thoughtful comment as per usual Chuck. Much appreciated!

  • Thanks for taking the time to check out the site Nico! Although I’m sure there is a lot of cross over between the AT and the Peace Corps- your efforts are being put toward a much greater cause. Thank you for that.

  • You definitely will Lori. If you have any times of unease early on- reach out and I’d be happy to lend a friendly voice.

  • I wrestle the bears so you don’t have to Richard. Thanks for keeping in touch man!

  • Laurenjoon

    Amazing post, as always!

  • Mark Dalton

    No offense at all. I figured you were joking. Just trying to score points with the spouse 🙂

  • AustinB-R

    DIYDAD, you basically just described the early stages of group therapy.  In group therapy settings, therapists expect for there to be conflict early (shit hitting the fan), then people eventually feel that they can be themselves.  They begin to support one another, particularly where they feel a connection with other members.  It’s cool so know that it happens on the AT, too. 🙂  I can’t wait to get there…

  • VickyD

    great post.

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  • Sarah_Says

    Great post – i now understand that, undertaking the AT is more of an independent journey – even though you may have a walking partner, and meet other hikers on the way…. its about your journey! You don’t have to stay with these hikers the whole journey…. walk your own way!

    Did you ever feel, scared or uneasy when you found yourself alone for a few days? I know you say that, the woods end up feeling like ‘home’ – but you often hear ‘stories’ about some hikers hearing noises / screams / see things they can’t quite explain…. Did you ever experience anything like this, at any point during your time on the Trail?