[at-l] 11 years ago today... a non-dreamer started hiking the trail - and a question for others.

Mara Factor mfactor at gmail.com
Wed Mar 17 09:18:29 CDT 2010

11  years ago today was also a Wednesday.

I started my own thruhike of the AT that day.  Unlike most other hikers, I
wasn't a dreamer before I started.  I had known about the trail and
thruhiking for years but it was only the fall before my hike that I even
considered doing a thruhike.

Is there anyone else here on the list that wasn't a long-standing dreamer
before hitting the trail for a thruhike?  What's your story?

I came to my hike not because I had a long standing wish to thruhike the
trail, but because four areas of my life conspired to converge and make it a
perfect time to thruhike.

In the years leading up to my hike, I had been getting out into the
mountains of New Hampshire three out of four weekends per month throughout
the year plus longer trips on vacations and it just didn't seem like it was
enough.  My personal possessions were already in storage from a trip two
years earlier so it became very easy to leave the area.  And I had a sister
in Boston who was willing and able to provide support for my hike.

None of that would have gotten me onto the trail except that during the
summer of '98, a friend asked if I wanted to thruhike the trail with him.
Over the next couple of months, after joining AT-L and other lists, my
friend soon realized that he couldn't take off and thruhike but by then, I
had caught the bug.

I attended my first Gathering that fall, then my first Ruck in January of
1999.  Meeting hikers at these events was inspiring.

I hit the trail 11 years ago today, planning to go as long as the fun
outweighed the pain.  Six and a half months later, I completed my thruhike.

I know of at least one other hiker who similarly wasn't a long-term dreamer
but I'm sure there are others and I'm curious about what got you out on the


Stitches, AT99

Visit my Travels and Trails web site at:
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