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  1. #1
    Back to the Earth poetrusic's Avatar
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    Red face After All the blah-blah details

    Hey y'all,
    i've loved the woods for years, and after years of procrastination, i finally realized my life, and am on the path to it. I've recently re-discovered hiking. And realize that a lot has changed since i was 14. I only have one question. After all the blah blah about weight, food, tents, packs, stoves,..etc..

    Is the AT really as amazing and magnificent as it is inside my head?

    Just wanted to hear some voices on the true beauty of it all....

    Thanx....
    "I came to the woods because i wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. To put to route all that was not life. And, not when i had come to die, discover that i had not lived." - H.D.Thoreau (from Dead Poet's Society)
    :jump

  2. #2
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    Yes. Yes it is. I'm only 21, but walking the trail was the best thing I've ever done. It sparks so many memories that've given me so much more than just a 5 month walk in the woods. It's a spontaneous way to live, sleeping in a different spot every night. Its about freedom and the ability to carry all you've got on your back and spend time with some of the most interesting folks from around the country and world. It's about all the townspeople who lend a ride or give you a soda on a hot day or the hostel owners who bend over backwards for a bunch of needing hikers. Its about being on a mountain top at 5am or 6pm, by yourself, realizing this is what life is about. It's being able to step away from fast moving society, being able to listen to the thoughts in your own hear, without the drone of others around you and the sounds of the city.

    I had the AT made out to be this magnificent adventure in my head before my hike. I also had a lot of questions, fears and uncertainties and had no idea what I would be seeing, smelling, experiencing, hearing etc. What I did live, was even better than I thought. Its all there, out there. There are a million different ways to hike it and live it, just find the way that works for you. Enjoy
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  3. #3
    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    Default ...and then some !!

    I didn't get to thru-hike the AT until last year. Turned 54 enroute. Long time to wait to realize a near lifelong dream.

    It was everything I had imagined and more. The experience is what you make of it. I recently crossed my one year anniversary of summitting Katahdin (10/9/03) and all I can say is that the day was magic.

    The wife and I are planning a second AT thru-hike (this time together - she did hers in 2001) but it won't be for several years. I'm already excited about it.

    'Slogger
    AT 2003
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by poetrusic
    Hey y'all,


    Is the AT really as amazing and magnificent as it is inside my head?

    Just wanted to hear some voices on the true beauty of it all....

    Thanx....
    It is hard to crawl inside your head. However, I'll say that on my first section hike (450 miles), it definitely was good! In fact, even better than I imagined it to be (and I imagined a lot). I thruhiked the PCT the next summer. Last summer I came back to the AT for an 1150 mile section. It was not as good as I remembered it. After my first AT section, I proclaimed the trip to be the best thing that I had ever done. After the PCT, I proclaimed that to be even better.

    Whether or not it is for you depends on what you want out of your time on the trail. The things that the AT is best known for, the things that embody the best of the AT, are either no longer very important to me, or I know where I can find better examples. If you are thinking of trying a thruhike in, say, 2006 or later, you might go out to the AT this upcoming year when the hikers are passing by (ask here for help in timing this). Catch some of their magic. See the looks in their faces. Some are dour, some are glad. Which you will be is up to you.

  5. #5
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poetrusic
    Hey y'all,
    i've loved the woods for years, and after years of procrastination, i finally realized my life, and am on the path to it. I've recently re-discovered hiking. And realize that a lot has changed since i was 14. I only have one question. After all the blah blah about weight, food, tents, packs, stoves,..etc.. Is the AT really as amazing and magnificent as it is inside my head? Just wanted to hear some voices on the true beauty of it all....
    Thanx....
    Unless your head is more perceptive than most, the trail will be a surprise -- a very pleasant surprise.

  6. #6
    GAVA '04; GAME '05
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    Is the magic of the AT really from the Trail itself, or doesn't it really come more from the matter of living deliberately and pushing yourslef mentally and physically to complete something so difficult?

    Not to knock the AT since it's awesome in its own right, but I bet I'd get the same feeling biking across America, building a house, passing basic training or working at a non-profit. All are challenges in some way or another.

  7. #7
    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    Quote Originally Posted by SalParadise
    Is the magic of the AT really from the Trail itself, or doesn't it really come more from the matter of living deliberately and pushing yourslef mentally and physically to complete something so difficult?

    Not to knock the AT since it's awesome in its own right, but I bet I'd get the same feeling biking across America, building a house, passing basic training or working at a non-profit. All are challenges in some way or another.
    ================================================== =
    You probably have a valid point. For some, the AT might not hold such a special meaning and hiking it from end to end might not represent a meaningful accomplishment. For, as you point out, riding a bike across America for me would not be the same as having thru-hiked the AT. There has to be some connection between you and the endeavor in order for it to have major significance.

    'Slogger
    AT 2003
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  8. #8
    GAVA '04; GAME '05
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    I won't simply delete my last post becuase it was quoted by Footslogger with a good reply, but I think mine veers a little bit off topic, and I don't want to do that to a good question.

    So to bring it back....Yes it is that amazing, only surprising at what I found myself amazed by.

  9. #9
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SalParadise
    Is the magic of the AT really from the Trail itself, or doesn't it really come more from the matter of living deliberately and pushing yourslef mentally and physically to complete something so difficult?

    Not to knock the AT since it's awesome in its own right, but I bet I'd get the same feeling biking across America, building a house, passing basic training or working at a non-profit. All are challenges in some way or another.
    Well, I've done all of those except biking across America. The AT still wins by a broad margin. For wise and understanding hikers, it's not the challenge. It's the fun one enjoys while achieving the challenge that makes the Appalachian Trail different.

    Weary

  10. #10
    Back to the Earth poetrusic's Avatar
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    Thanks to all who answered so quickly. All the forums and users here are great for info and advice. And, i cannot wait to even section hike the smokies, let alone, be one with the trail for 6 months, Y'all are great...

    Thank You...
    "I came to the woods because i wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. To put to route all that was not life. And, not when i had come to die, discover that i had not lived." - H.D.Thoreau (from Dead Poet's Society)
    :jump

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