About

Arkansas Traveler

BandK

I will be hiking the Appalachian Trail in the March of 2016. The Appalachian Trail goes through 14 states from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Katahdin, Maine and is 2,180 miles long. I intend to do a North-Bound (NOBO) ‘thru-hike,’ which means hiking the whole trail continuously. It takes 5-6 months to complete and only 1 in 4 thru-hikers actually finish the trail. I hope that I will be one of them!

Bud (my husband) is graciously supporting me in my endeavor, and has encouraged me to pursue this dream of mine. He also helped me choose my trail name: Arkansas Traveler. ‘Arkansas Traveler’ is a type of Heirloom tomato that grows well in these parts. I found out that there is a song of the same name that use to be the State Song of Arkansas. It is a fiddle tune, and many of you might know the tune as, “I’m Squishing Up a Baby Bumblebee.”

This blog will eventually be my trail journal when I start my hike, and until then, I’ll use it to write about my preparations for the trip.

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10 thoughts on “About

  1. Wow I am so inspired by you (and all women that want to hike the trail ALONE)! I’ve recently had some changes in my life that were out of my control that left me unemployed. Fortunately we can live on my husband’s income just fine so I want to take the year off. He suggested hiking the PCT or AT to me. He is supportive but I am afraid. Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to do it, but I am afraid. Not to commit to the hike or any physical demands, I am afraid of “other people”. I hate that as a woman I have these fears. I really can’t wait to read more about your journey!

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    1. Thank you for your comment! One of my reasons for hiking the AT (which I forgot to mention) is to face some of my fears, too. I have a lot of them, but I think most of the time they charade as ‘worries’…and they have kept me from doing a lot of things that I want to do.

      Honestly, though…If you mean fear of ‘bad people’ on the AT, I don’t think there are many there…especially amongst the hikers. Statistically, (and I can’t remember it exactly) You have more chance of being murdered in the city than you do on the trail. Isn’t that comforting? LOL. I’ve actually heard wonderful things about the AT hiking community, and how people watch out for one another. I think the statistic I read was that there are about 2,000 people per season who start the AT with the intent to thru-hike all the way to Katahdin. They say you won’t be alone unless you want to be. I’ve heard that if you want to hike as a group or with someone, you’ll eventually find someone who has the same hiking style and pace as you do. If you want to hike alone, there are plenty of opportunities to do so.

      It might help to read some books about people who have thru-hiked the AT to get a feel for what it is like to hike it and if it’s something you want to do. One of my favorites is “Becoming Odyssa,” by Jennifer Pharr Davis. There are lots of books written by AT thru-hikers.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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      1. I feel I’m in the same boat as you! I have lots of fears/worries that in the past have kept me from doing a lot of different things. I’ve read Bill Bryson’s book and even though it is a different trail, I’ve read Wild too. That’s about Cheryl Strayed’s thru hike on the PCT. Plus I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote Eat Pray Love. She traveled to 3 different countries by herself. I so want to be brave enough to do any one of those things. I do think I would like it to hike with someone at times and at times I would enjoy being my introverted self. Maybe you will inspire me!

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      2. I hope I can inspire someone. Keep reading different stories, especially written by women who have done it, and your excitement and courage will build. It seems like more and more women are hiking the trail these days. If other women can do it, you can, too! Trail Journals is a good place to follow thru hikes in ‘real time’. They have journals from lots of trails, including the AT and the PCT.

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      3. I received this blog post in my email today, and I thought of you. It’s talking about why she chose the AT over the PCT. This is an excellent site to poke around in general.

        For me, I wasn’t drawn to just thru-hiking a trail, I was drawn to hiking the Appalachian Trail…mostly for the reasons she mentioned. I read, ‘Wild,’ too…in fact, it was one of the first books I read about a woman thru hiking a long trail. It was the first time it dawned on me that a woman COULD do something like that. It made me feel that if she could do it, I could do it, too.

        http://appalachiantrials.com/10-reasons-its-so-freaking-cool-to-choose-the-appalachian-trail/

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    2. Ashley, it isn’t just women that are afraid to hike alone. I went out last year on the AT for a few days, by myself. I was very afraid but wanted to see if I could do this. I ended up hiking with two men i didn’t know, we just ended up hiking at the same pace. They did not know each other but admitted that they did not want to camp alone as it was too creepy. I think we all carry fears and maybe the AT is a place where we can begin to manage them. I have been told there were 7 murders in 70 years on the AT. In the town I work in, there is a violent crime EVERY WEEK! When we get to know a place and we are comfortable, we falsely think we are safe. Ergo, a strange place (the AT) must be unsafe. Try doing it with baby steps, maybe go out with a friend, a time or two, then go to that same “familiar” place on your own. If you say you cannot do something, you are right, you cannot do it. Kara is brave, let her show you that you can do this if you want.

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      1. I think your advice is good, Cheri. I think the more you do it, the easier it gets. Starting out with sleeping alone in my yard was a good first start for me. By the time I actually slept out in the middle of the woods alone, I kind of liked it. I worry more about ‘people’ than I do about the critters. Someone on a forum pointed out that it would be highly unlikely that the crazy people would be out in the middle of the dark woods at midnight seeking to kill you.

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  2. I’m a new subscriber and I can’t wait for you to start your journey! I’m so excited for you and I will be praying for you. I want to do this “someday”!

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