Winter backpacking? What am I, crazy?!

The sky is blue, the air crisp, the leaves that remain on the trees are awash with shades of yellow ochre, brilliant orange and deep burgundy…by all appearances, a most beautiful day for hiking. But what grabs my attention most as I gaze out of this bus window on my way to the Berkshire Mountains, is the snow on the ground!! Are you effin’ kidding me?! It’s too early for this!!

There are 83 miles of the Appalachian Trail that have been hanging over my head like a prison sentence. At the time I skipped it, it seemed like such a short section of trail, easily made up over the course of a few weekends with a few friends. Well, guess what? Everyone is busy! And after not hiking all day every day for the last month and a half, 83 miles seems huge!

But today is the day I tackle my fears. I’ve decided to just go for it, finish it out, tie up the loose ends and move on. The sooner I finish the hike, the better for me to stop using it as an excuse to stay stagnant in my post-trail life. I’ve gotta get this monkey off my back in order to move forward. I’m hoping that once this is really over, I’ll be able to focus on figuring out what the next steps are for me in my career and to work on being the best half I can be in my new married life.

But real life or city life or regular life is not like trail life. One thing I’ve really missed since being home is the ability to just set out on a task and complete it. All in one fell swoop. Of course food, shelter and walking are the only things that need doing on the trail. Unless you’re injured or the weather sucks, it’s not so hard to accomplish!

What I need to remember at home is to not get overwhelmed with the little things. To not get bogged down by housework and paperwork and financial worries and is the phone gonna ring for a job today?? If I take lessons from the trail I will know that the only way to walk from Georgia to Maine is by taking one step at a time. If I learn to be diligent, my goals will become reality.

On my way to spend 6 more days in the woods by myself!


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6 Responses to Winter backpacking? What am I, crazy?!

  1. Mike Supple (Burning Man) says:

    Congratulation on finishing the hike and for going back to finish the section you missed. That must have been a difficult decision…glad to see you womaned up to do it. It was great to have met you on the trail in VA and to have followed you here for the rest of your trip. My buddy and I are packed up ready to hit the trail here in upstate NY for two days. Of course this stinking cold front had to arrive right now. Hope you’re prepared for it. Not sure when you are getting married but it would be cool to post some pics for us who followed you on the trail. Best of luck in you marriage and all that you do for the rest of your life. BTW….I’m seriously contemplating my own thru hike starting next spring. Thanks for sharing your life.

    Michael and Gloria

  2. SusanS says:

    Hi Click,
    Congratulations on deciding to finish the whole hike and be done with it!! Be well, be safe, be careful and be back to Doni and civilization soon!
    Love, Aunt Susan

  3. Wow Melissa!!! I am as usual so impressed by your determination and fortitude.
    Please be careful and gentle with yourself. 🙂 wish I could go with you ha!
    Safe travels and get back to Doni and the start of your new phase soon! xoxo
    Much Love, Nicole

  4. June and Scott says:


    Have a wonderful time alone in the woods. Just breathe!!!

    June and Scott

  5. Darren says:

    Be careful, be warm, be safe, and have a blast!

  6. JRae says:

    Be safe, Melissa and ready for any kind of weather!
    I will be thinking of you.
    Deb and Steven are in town and we are having a birthday party for G’Ma tomorrow.
    Keep posting along the way!
    Love, Aunt Jan

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