Google+ Followers

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The beginning of the story...

For those of you who do not know us, an introduction is in order.  I work as a paralegal at a law firm in Evergreen, Colorado and until recently cooked at a casino, and Keith works for a natural grocery chain opening their new stores across the west and midwest.  Before we ever met, each of us had a desire to thru hike the Appalachian Trail.  We have section-hiked Georgia and part of North Carolina, and the dream of doing the entire trail has consistently popped up in our discussions over the last several years.  As often happens, life gets busy and gets in the way of the best laid plans.  I was working about 70 to 75 hours a week and Keith travels about three quarters of the year.  Spending so much time apart was motivating us to look at options to work for ourselves. We decided that if we were going to work so hard, we should work for ourselves.  Back in the spring of 2012, we had been working seriously on restaurant planning and looking for a location to open a small restuarant/cafe.   Plans were well underway, but we were questioning whether we were jumping from the frying pan into the fire.  Strangely, we were heading home after my graduation ceremony from culinary school when I asked the questions that changed our course:  "What are we doing?  We're talking about opening a restaurant, which we know will take over our lives.  What do YOU want to do?"  Keith's answer was simple, "I want to hike."  I wholeheartedly agreed and realized that and this was not like the times we had previously discussed a thru hike.  This was not just a fantasy discussion about what we wanted to do - it was real.  We went for lunch and number crunched on napkins.    Realizing we could make it work financially solidified our decision to thru hike the AT in 2013.  Since that time, we have spent many hours reading, planning, budgeting, and cooking (more on that process later).

We decided to take our retirement hike years before retirement.  We will have six months of hiking to decide what we really want to do and where.  For those who have not spent time backpacking, and perhaps think we are a little crazy (I'm not really denying that), there is a complete adjustment in the way you think about life when you spend days on the trail, carrying all your necessities on your back.  Your priorities change.  You suddenly realize that things to which you have given great importance are not important at all. We look forward to that shift in perspective.  We'll spend our anniversary (March 20) at Amicalola Falls and then begin our hike March 21, 2013 at the approach trail (which is a grueling 8 mile hike prior to reaching the southern terminus of the trail) in Georgia.  


We will journey about 2,184 miles, through 14 states over approximately six months, ending at Mount Katahdin in Maine.   Over the next several months, we'll post more about the planning process, the food, gear and itinerary.  We hope that you'll follow us on our journey.

Dina and Keith

3 comments:

  1. I am unbelievably excited and happy for you two. I think it is fantastic you've made the decision to follow your hearts desires. I wish you good luck on your epic journey. Have a blast and be safe! I love you both!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm so honoured to have seen Cara's post on FB, and to have read all about your fantastic plans and the reasons behind your decision, Dina and Keith. Inspiring on every level! We are pretty much peas in a pod. I've spent years taking off for parts unknown and having others wonder about me and my sanity. ;-) I say we are the sane ones. As you mention, your priorities shift in the best possible way when you are carrying everything you own on your back, or exploring some part of the world you've never seen before with a map in your hand and a big wide grin on your face. The very best of luck to you on your travels! Am so looking forward to reading your posts as your grand hike continues.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am so excited for the 2 of you and wish I would have started reading this in the beginning of your travels...love you both and wish you well...don't forget to stay in contact with us!!

    ReplyDelete