Following a Life-Long Dream!
$661 of $5,000 goal
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!
If yo have any questions about the dehydration process, the recipes I am using, or any other questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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!