About the Author: “Hello, my name is Abby Washburn, and later this year in April my mom and I will be starting on the Appalachian Trail. I enjoy reading, being outdoors, swimming, writing, and baking. I am fifteen years old and I will be hiking after my high school career is over. My favorite two classes are Spanish and English, and my favorite color is purple.”

April 1

Today is April First, but I luckily din’t get pranked by anyone today. I did however, get tricked into thinking that we still have plenty of time before our hike. That is a giant lie, because as of today the biggest adventure ever commences in T-Minus 17 day or so. The last few month have been full of doing homework ahead to still get credit, going to the gym, dehydrating food, and packing. However, in the last month, I have certainly felt the time crunch. I have been under some stress to get all of my ahead-of-time homework done on top of all my regular class work, dehydrate more than just one day’s worth of food, and pack my backpack with all my gear inside. 

Along with doing multiple papers and presentations, I have PSATs coming up soon too, which add to my stress of completing. However, there is a relief to all this stress, my family, teachers and friends who are a tiny bit jealous of all the adventures we’re going to have and worried about me, how long we will be gone, and finishing school and such. My family has been such a great help, going to the store for me, asking how they could help and just being there for me. 

The days are slowly counting down!! AHHH! A few days ago my mom looked at me and said, “I put my pack on and walked around the living room… ‘It’s getting real”. I totally agree with her. I am excited for the biggest adventure of my life, but also a tad bit worried because it’s very close and I am still dehydrating food for us to eat, so we have more variety than ramen noodles, and still working on school. 

The  other day, my pastor called my mom and me up to the front and talked with us about what we wanted to accomplish once this was over, and I couldn’t think of anything . My mom said to have a better bond with me and her own bed. Now, thinking about what I will have accomplished by October, I want to be able to face my fears better and have a better idea of taste for adventures, and have a better concept of not needing so much stuff, and I too, will want my own bed and a basket of clean laundry. 
I also have been thinking about some of the things I will miss, including my friends, my dog, just chilling and swimming at our cabin in the summer, reading, my family, my bed, and playing trombone in the school band. If I wait too long thinking about all the things I’ll miss, I’ll never get to enjoy my adventure. So, I have also made a list of things I’m looking forward to and things that will be great including, Fontana Dam, the boot tree, McAfee Knob, meeting new people, meeting friends on Mount Washington in NH, the views, the life lessons, the experience and not worrying about what other people think or school work and society. 
Then, I also think about how weird it will be to be back home after. I won’t want to wear a normal schoolbag, putting on deodorant will be an afterthought, I will have sudden urges to wander around in Crocs and a rain suit in town, I will have moments where I remember something but no one will really understand because they weren’t there, and how I will want to wear the same pair of clothes for two weeks in a row. 
Nonetheless, of my worries and problems, it will be an awesome adventure.