This is a guest post by Deb Lauman.

Thinking about thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail–that 2,174-mile footpath between Springer Mountain, Georgia, and Maine’s Mt. Katahdin? Great! I highly recommend the journey, which was one of the most soul-satisfying, difficult, wonderful, uncomfortable, inspiring, tiring, exhilarating, challenging, and fun experiences of my life.

Me, I’m quite the anal planner, and I started my A.T. adventure well before passing the first white blaze by attempting to plan every day of it. Once I decided to fulfill my dream, I set out the pens and notebooks and books and calendar. I made lists and more lists and began scheduling to the max. I’d hike 15 miles this day and stay at that campsite or lean-to. I’d send a maildrop with pre-purchased food to such-n-such a town, where I’d arrive on a particular date.

Then one day, I tossed the whole thing.

Nantahala National Forest

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  • David Lee

    In late 2007, I quit my job and left the comfortable life in the USA for the open road with nothing but a 20-pound backpack, a …

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