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Hi, I’m Rachel.

I’m a freelance writer, advocate, and podcast host! I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2018 and it changed my life. Check out my Podcast, hire me, or read about my adventures!

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This is Trail Name Here.

This is a space where I share life stories, educate, and connect people. I’m glad you’re here to join me by listening to Podcast Here, reading my blog, or looking back at my journey on the AT.

Instagram: @TrailNameHere

Progress: T-Minus 11 Hours...

Progress: T-Minus 11 Hours...

Holy crap I was freaking out today. Jitters, physical and mental, were full on today. I went to bed at 1:30 am and woke up at 5:30 am. Everyone else in the house woke up at 9 am (*rolls eyes*). So I spent the early hours of the morning fixing my gear list and making a list of food ideas: [googleapps domain="docs" dir="document/d/e/2PACX-1vTOneajGkwtOHmbF0bJulUfvA0zpKnV-kIyHipjOc5QA5Q8UoLf7HdUMwT74glIAffw8hXQeVsYULag/pub" query="embedded=true" /]

Once the family woke up we all had french toast and bacon with real maple syrup for breakfast (thanks mom)! We all got dressed and ready for the day. By noon we were out the door to the nearest Walmart Supercenter (holy moly it was so big I almost got lost) where we spent two hours picking up my food and some last minute items. I bought way too much food (of course) and we picked up some flat rate boxes to bounce forward.

The Spread:

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(sorry the photo is a little dim) We got back from Walmart and dumped out all of the bags on the floor. We knew at Neel gap the selection would be limited so I did mail myself a few boxes of cous cous, some special tuna in EVOO, chocolate pretzels, nuun tabs, protein cookies, stroop wafels, etc. (don't mind the wine hahaha, blogging is not all beauty)

Day By Day:

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Legend: Red = Breakfast; Yellow = Snack; Green = Lunch; Blue = Dinner; Purple = Dessert; Orange = Drinks

I most certainly have too much food (most beginners do!). I also probably bounced more food than I needed to. We shall see. Also, we will be reaching Neel Gap on day 5 so I only technically have breakfast but I have so much 'extra' food that I will probably have snacks if I do decide I want them. I aimed for some variety but also things that I know that I like. I tried to keep it simple. I packed a few hot lunches to force myself to stop and prepare lunch and, therefore, pace myself. I know I will want to push the miles my first week but I do not need to and my body probably shouldn't. The hot lunch might also be a nice comfort. I also packed cold 'lunch/snack' for the hot lunch days just in case I don't feel like cooking.

Here it is all packed up:

Last Minute Preparations:

  • Today I downgraded my car insurance to save money!
  • We bought some small toiletries for showering, extra contact solution, a crap load of ibuprofen, and BioFreeze gel.
  • We stopped at Kroger and 'stole' some soy sauce packets and sugar in the raw packets....
  • I 'took a nap' aka laid in my bed and stared at the ceiling while my heart pounded from anxiety.
  • I emailed my doctors to let them know that I am, in fact, leaving.
  • Organized and packed up my food bag (that was a trip). I did decide to bring my Ursack for sure (thank you to my hiking buddy ((who I will tell you all about very soon)) who convinced me that I need to stop changing my gear every two seconds)
  • Packed up all of our stuff in our packs (Maeve and Paxley)!
  • Put my phone in its Lifeproof Case

Feelings:

I'm freaking out. I'm anxious, but exhausted. I'm overthinking everything. I'm overwhelmed. But... I'm so freaking excited. I'm so ready to just go and do it. I'm excited to hike the day mostly by myself and have a little alone time. I'm looking forward to sleeping in my tent (I love it). I'm so ready. But my brain is trying to tell me otherwise. It's wrong.

How it's going to be:

So... Obviously I won't always have internet or cell service or my laptop. Unfortunately, I won't be able to blog everyday and sometimes less than once per week. Due to some threats of proximity and location I will not be posting for the first 10 days of my hike to get ahead of my posts. That way someone will have a harder stalking me. To be honest, it's not a precaution I want to take, and it may not really be necessary, but I don't want to risk my life for a blog post. To be safe, this post is written 11 hours out, but not actually posted 11 hours out.

I will try to post at least once per week. It will be whatever I feel like writing! Sometimes full emotional journals, other times just mileage and where we camped, occasionally what we did in town!

I am, indeed, starting with a buddy. This was not my original plan but she found me through a blog post I did for The Trek and we were instant friends. I sincerely could not have made it through this weekend without her. I will introduce her and her blog in a later post once we get situated on the trail. We have both agreed that if we don't think our partnership is working that we can part ways or work out a different agreement.

I am so excited and I am so glad you all are following along. See you all in 10 days!! (maybe I'll finally have a trail name)

-Rachel

 

Gear: New Shoes...

Gear: New Shoes...

Progress: The ride to Georgia

Progress: The ride to Georgia