We are Melissa and Mike. Mike is Melissa’s dad. Melissa is Mike’s daughter. Though both fans of the show, we should not be confused with Mel and Mike, the father/son duo from the 14th season of The Amazing Race. Mike’s hair isn’t really so gray as it looks in this picture. It’s the bright sun. Melissa’s hair maybe isn’t really so red as this. It might come from a box.
Mike recently “involuntarily retired” from a large company when his job was eliminated in a downsizing. “Hey! Now’s the time to thruhike the AT!” he thought immediately. Well, it wasn’t QUITE the time. Since it was late August, Mike realized he’d have to wait until March to start the hike. Mike called around, looking for folks who might spend a long while hiking with him. It’s not easy coming up with such a block of time for a venture like this. Mike’s good friend and favorite hiking partner Bob (an avid hike leader and world traveler from England, who is also retired) couldn’t come along due to other commitments. Mike thought of his son, Phil, and daughter Melissa. Phil is finishing up a Master’s degree and the timing’s not right for him to join in for the whole hike. Mike called Melissa, thinking that she might be only able to commit for a couple of weeks. Melissa thought that if she scrimped, saved and ensured her fiancé that she would remain responsible for her portion of the rent, then she just might be able to do the whole thing. After all, she figured, this kind of adventure opportunity doesn’t come knocking every day.
Mike might not shave during this hike. He’s never grown a full beard before. He hopes when he gets home that his wife will recognize him and let him in the door. He’ll at least be sure to take a shower first.
Melissa is a freelance photographer in NYC. She has competed in 8 triathlons and various running races. She thinks she’s fit enough for the task. Her wedding will be in October, so Melissa and Mike will have to hike fast.