Following a Life-Long Dream!

$661 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 13 people in 35 months
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Jamie Marsden  ROCHESTER, NY
It has taken a lot of my thought and consideration to finally decide to start this "GoFundMe". I struggled with the concept of asking people for money for something that is not life threatening, however, after crunching the numbers and looking at my responsibilities, it is a glaring truth that I will need your help.

In July, 2016, I will be embarking on the trip of a lifetime! I am FINALLY starting my hike on the Appalachian Trail, a life-long dream of mine! My friend, Carrie Yehle, and I will be starting in Maine and working our way south, until we end our journey in Georgia, approximately 2,200 miles away, sometime towards the end of January 2017. That's right, that's 6 months of hiking, with nothing but what we carry on our backs to sustain us and provide us shelter.

While we are roughing it, we will also be hitting town roughly every 8-10 days. This is where we plan to resupply our food and any equipment we may need, not to mention wash our clothes we've warn for over a week straight, and get some good rest in a bed and some warm food in our bellies.

So why, you may ask, am I choosing to leave my loved ones, my cats, and my warm comfortable home behind to go trudging around in the woods and mountains for 6 months? Well, you can blame my father and my uncle Aron. It all started as a little girl, at the age of 7, when I hiked with them up the White Mountains in NH. The winds were whipping at 80 mph, and there was ice on the rocks as we awoke above tree-line at Lakes of the Clouds hut (arguably one of the best huts ever!). My dad tied a rope around my waist, and the other end around his, and off we went. Well, let's just say I learned what it felt to be a human kite! After cresting the ridge, the winds died down, and I landed safely, tears on my face, and my heart racing. After my flight of terror, my 7 year old brain bounced back resiliently and I giggled and splashed all the way down the rest of the mountain. I truly LOVED the mountains.


Since then, I have returned again and again, to the Whites to hike and visit my old friend, Mt Washington. I truly feel at home and at peace in the mountains, despite what challenges they may throw at me. All my life, I have heard stories from my father and my uncle regarding hiking parts of the AT and how much they wished they had done the entire trail. My father is currently in his mid 60s (your welcome for not saying your exact age :) ) and he has had to face giving up his dream of completing the AT. This is a boat I refuse to be in!

This summer, I am taking my opportunity to complete the trail and complete my dream! I will graduate with my Doctorate in Physical Therapy, after already completing a Masters and Bachelors degree, and, needless to say, will be facing an absorbent amount of student loans! While I have saved as much as possible, and worked 2-3 jobs at times, and always worked while attending school full time, I have fallen short of the finances I would need saved for this endeavor. I have the willpower and I have the experience and the physical abilities to complete the trail; now I fear finances may be what forces me to return with my dream unfulfilled.

So, I ask for help. Anything you are able to send my way (even good thoughts) is GREATLY appreciated! Funds will be used for food, shelter, laundry, resupplies, any equipment needed while on the trail, and any unexpected expenses such as healthcare needs or extended stays in town due to illness (lets hope both of those don't happen!). In return, please follow me on my journey as I photographically document my trip on www.instagram.com/blaze17speed/ , and write about my adventures on www.appalachiantrials.com/author/jamie-marsden .  While I cannot currently offer much more than that, in return for anything you are able to provide, I can only thank you from the deepest part of my soul for your help and good thoughts. Wish us luck as we disappear into the mountains to emerge in 6 months refreshed, renewed, and restored as new people with a better perspective on our futures!

Happy Hiking,
Jamie
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Update 6
Posted by Jamie Marsden
6 months ago
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I apologize for the long delay, but here is my final update. I completed my lifelong dream, hiking the Appalachian Trail, on July 1, 2017. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone that helped support me along my journey. It was the journey of a lifetime and I will forever be grateful! This is Dori signing off!
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Update 5
Posted by Jamie Marsden
30 months ago
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A little under one month, my trailmate and I will begin our epic journey on the Appalachian Trail. Years of dreaming and planning are all coming to fruition! As we get closer to our start date, the planning and preparation is speeding up and the check list is getting smaller. The equipment is purchased (for the most part), and the dehydrated meals are coming along. What about our physical prep work? Read my latest post to find out more ( http://appalachiantrials.com/preparing-for-trail-part-4-training/)! Thank you following me and helping me support my dream! The next time you hear from me will be from the trail! Wish us luck and as always, happy hiking!
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Update 4
Posted by Jamie Marsden
31 months ago
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Taking a moment to celebrate a hard earned degree, stumbling and facing my challenges, and digging my way through many piles of equipment to organize and share with you! All this and more in this issue of Jamie's Adventures! Click here to read the full story and as always, thank you for your support!
http://appalachiantrials.com/taking-a-moment-to-celebrate-on-to-part-3/
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Update 3
Posted by Jamie Marsden
32 months ago
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What does watermelon candy, mush and Excalibur have in common? They all have something to do with dehydrating! Read about my adventures with dehydrating foods and what I plan to bring with me on my 2,200 mile adventure! Read the full article here !( http://appalachiantrials.com/preparing-for-the-trail-part-2-let-the-dehydration-bonanza-begin/)

If yo have any questions about the dehydration process, the recipes I am using, or any other questions, feel free to contact me at jmarsde3@mail.naz.edu!

As always, thank you for reading and thank you for your donations! Every cent is greatly apprciated and gets me one step closer to completing my dream!
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Jonathan Boyd
6 months ago

Glad you made it.

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$661 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 13 people in 35 months
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Created February 16, 2016
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EF
$200
Eric Farago
27 months ago

Hey Dori and Ratatouille, it good chatting with y'all today. Hope it all goes well on the trail :)

$50
Jonathan Boyd
29 months ago

Have a ridiculous meal on me. - Multi (SOBO '14, prepping for NOBO '17)

AH
$50
Alicia Harabin
30 months ago
LC
$25
Liliana Crane
31 months ago

Good luck!!!! Looking forward hearing all about it.

$10
Anonymous
32 months ago
KK
$36
Kenneth Kahn
32 months ago

All the best Jamie! Think of me as you cross over the MD leg of South Mountain. :)

KJ
$100
Kathleen Jensen
32 months ago

I am living vicariously through you and your Blog! All the best to you in your journey!

MS
$20
Marcia Spoto
32 months ago

Go Jamie!

$25
Anonymous
33 months ago
MT
$25
Mark Thompson
35 months ago
Jonathan Boyd
6 months ago

Glad you made it.

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