AT day one

Well, I’m finally here… I’ve dreamed of hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT), and this time I’m actually doing it. I’m in Tennessee, and it’s the start of day one. Eight days on the trail is the plan, my first section hike of what I hope will be many.

My German Shepherd, Johnny Cash (Cash) will be my hiking companion. THAT was a bit of a gamble… this is his first long hike and I’m a little nervous about how he will do. We recently did a couple day hikes with his pack on, and he spent two nights in the tent with me. I am pretty confident he will be okay, although I’m worried about his paws getting sore or cut.

Johnny Cash... loaded up and ready to go!
Johnny Cash… loaded up and ready to go!

I left yesterday morning at o-dark-hundred, and it took about 14 hours to drive from Milwaukee to my brother Brendan’s house in Mountain City, TN. I kind of like long days of driving. I had a good audio book and iTunes playlist full of good driving tunes. In truth, I didn’t listen to them much… I always seem to have plenty to think about.

One of the things I thought about as I left in the pre-dawn yesterday was about how there was absolutely NO WAY all the stuff I needed to carry was going to fit into my backpack. Read more