Work Monday morning was exciting, I put in my one week time-off request for November to attend Warren Doyles class at the Appalachian Trail Institute! I was the first one in the my office that morning when one of my supervisors asked me what the time was for. I was excited to tell her in particular, but not many other co-workers for the obvious reason of them thinking I wanted to quit my job....(which is the furthest thing from my reason).
This supervisor had told me previously that her twin sister had not only completed the AT, but also the Colorado Trail, and has hopes of starting the Pacific Crest Trail next spring (amazing...I know). She was super excited to hear that I was pursuing it and she suggested I get into contact with her sister with any questions I had! I immediately emailed her, this was her response:
I am so excited for you and cannot wait to hear how the idea of thru hiking has fallen into your lap. I think it is great! ____ told me yesterday and I was hoping to hear from you. Dont worry about not having experiance the trail requires none! There is a sharp learning curve. I had never hiked or backpacked prior to the trail. I found out about the trail 0ct. 9th and started 6 months later on April 9th. I did take a couple practive overnighters and we can do that too, if you would like. I would be happy to help in anyway, I can also give you the name of another women in Cville I think it would be great to meet and chat. Would this work for you? I am off this coming Monday, do you have any free time then?
As for the Warren Doyle class, I don't think it is necessary. I never met anyone that did this and I know quite a few people that had successful through hikes. My other concern with this class is the cost. I understand that class participants have a higher rate of completion, I just don't think it is necessary. I considered it for myself and my mentor again didn't think it was necessary. I do agree with him and that there has to be preparation physically and mentally. But to be honest I think the best way to prepare your self is to do it. This is kind of hard to explain via email.
When I first heard about the trail I set small goals for myself. Some first ones were, find a local hiking club, read a book...
Here are a my top three picks...
1. Becomming Odyssa (know she is found of Mr. Doyle)
2. AWOL on the Appalachian Trail
3. Appalachian Trials, by Zachary Davis
I am sorry this email is a little all over the place. I am very excited for you and hope we can meet to talk further. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.