AT 2017: (Too) Ready to Go

Lay down last night, Lord, I could not take my rest


I'm ready.

More than ready.

Maybe too ready.

I'm not sleeping well. Each night is more restless than the previous. It doesn't feel like anxiety is keeping me awake, though. I'm not reviewing lists of things in my head or spending time worrying about the unknown.

I think I'm just keyed up and ready to get moving.

I can tell Kim is keyed up too. This morning I awoke around 5:30 and discovered she was in the kitchen throwing away old food from the refrigerator.

My days have been spent with a lot small details. At this point, most of what I've been doing is working on little things to dial in my gear. If I didn't make these changes and additions I'd still be fine, but they're worth doing and I have the time to do them.

Sewing kit

One of the additions I made was a small sewing kit. It only contains some safety pins, a small amount of thread and a couple needles, but it's all I'll need.


I also sprayed my clothing with Permethrin, which will help to protect against ticks. This will have to be re-done about once a month.


Two boxes of food were prepared and mailed.

Though there are decent resupply options available, I decided to send food ahead to two spots I'll pass in my first two weeks.

The first is Mountain Crossings, an outfitter store located at Neel Gap, which is 31.4 miles from Springer Mountain. The second is Nantahala Outdoor Center, another outfitter store also right on the trail. This one is located at mile 137.1.

I expect to reach both of these stops in the middle day and won't be staying overnight. Sending packages here means there's no need to stay long. I won't have to shop, sort and repackage food, so I can keep moving.

Sending boxes of food ahead can be expensive and for the most part isn't necessary. These are probably the only boxes I will mail, but I have also prepared the food I'll need for hiking through the Smokies. That will be delivered to me when our two sons join me to hike that section.

Jefferson Middle School

The highlight of the week was when I talked to fifth grade students at Jefferson Middle School about hiking the Appalachian Trail. They asked a lot of good questions.

At this point I'm running out of things to do. The few items remaining on my to-do list have more to do with being gone for several months than hiking, like replacing batteries in all of the smoke detectors.

The hike begins Monday. That day is not coming soon enough.

Lay down last night, Lord, I could not take my rest
Lay down last night, Lord, I could not take my rest
My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the West


"Nothing to tell now. Let the words be yours, I'm done with mine."ref.