Twenty-years ago I was on top of Springer Mountain in Georgia.
It was the start of my Appalachian Trail thru-hike.
Five months later I reached the summit of Katahdin with my friends and family.
Since that time, I’ve made more difficult and arguably more scenic backpacking trips. And I’ve expanded my outdoor skill sets.
But few times in my life have had as long-lasting an impact as my thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail.
My life in Colorado, any extended hikes, and some of my deepest friendships all come from that decision to walk the Appalachian Trail (AT).
I doubt I’d have had the courage or the inclination to have moved two-thousand miles from home if I had not walked two-thousand miles on the AT. As mentioned before, I come from a traditional and conservative cultural upbringing. Moving so far from home just wasn’t done. And something I would not have conceived of before I had hiked the AT.
And I owe it all to those first steps twenty-years go on this day.
I’ll say it again: Those white blazes did just not lead north to Katahdin. Those white blazes led to the life I have now.