About the Author, Dana Jones: “I am walking from Georgia to Maine just to get a trail name. If that sounds crazy, then you’ve got a pretty good idea of what you are getting into. Stay tuned for more trail wackiness and hijinks.”

I’m on a repo’d bus to Memphis, on my way to Georgia. The forecast calls for rain, and I am smiling because that means I might have missed the snow. Preparing to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail has forced me to confront my fears. I’m more afraid of snow than bears or snakes.  I know there will be snow, but I’m hoping to wait to face it at the end of the trip and not my first night.

Telling people about my plan has forced me to face other’s fears, as well. The biggest surprise was my mother. She has spent most of my 40+ years telling me to be careful, to call her when I get there, that she would never get on a plane. I expected her to call me crazy (she wouldn’t be wrong), but instead she told me that is something my dad would have loved to do. 

She has been supportive and encouraging. She baked me cookies. Like, two dozen cookies! I told her I couldn’t carry that many, but she doesn’t get the obsessive weighing of every piece of gear I’ve done the last few months. She just wants me to have her homemade cookies for the trip. And I am filled with gratitude to have both her encouragement and these cookies.