On March 6th, 2017, I will climb to the top of Springer Mountain in Georgia and then I will walk northbound until I reach the summit of Mount Katahdin in Maine, approximately 2,189 miles away. There.  I said it.

Why must I make this announcement in such a public way? At some point, probably many points, I will be cold, wet, hungry, and exhausted, with blisters on my feet, and I will want to quit and go home. By making my intentions public, I hope that all of my friends and family will hold me accountable for my goal and will make me too embarrassed to not accomplish what I set out to do. Will you have my back on this?

I have dreamed of doing this for as long as I can remember, and now I am unbelievably grateful that my family and life situation is providing me with the opportunity to pursue this dream. Of course, it would have been a lot easier if the opportunity had presented itself say…….30 or 40 years ago, long before it became characterized as a “bucket list” item. However, I will do whatever is necessary to maximize my odds of successfully attaining this goal.

Prior to starting the hike, I will document my preparation and planning for this journey through a series of blog posts. Topics will include my training routine, gear selection, food preparation, practice hikes, etc. So if you want to know what is involved in getting ready for such journey, please follow along.

During the hike, I intend to post a daily journal of my life on the trail.  The purpose of this is fourfold:

  • To let my friends and family know that I am not lying at the bottom of a ravine (called a “hollow” by us Appalachian folks) and I am not a bear’s snack ;
  • To document the thru-hike experience for those that might have dreamed of such an undertaking, but have been unable, for whatever reason, to make it a reality;
  • To provide firsthand information for others that might be planning such an odyssey for themselves, and;
  • To create a keepsake for looking back and reminiscing about my time on the Appalachian trail.

If you would like to follow along (and I hope that you will) your best option is to go to www.dennisonthego.com/blog, scroll down to nearly the bottom of the page (where it says “Subscribe to Blog via Email,” enter your email address (I promise not to use it for any other purpose), and press the subscribe button. This way you will receive an email announcing each new post. Additional photos will also be posted at https://www.instagram.com/dennisonthego/

A link to each blog post will be posted on my “Dennis On The Go” Facebook page. If you go there and “Like” the page, you should automatically see a link for each post in your Facebook news feed. However, I will not be monitoring my Facebook accounts during the actual hike. So please leave any comments you might have (your words of encouragement will be invaluable to me) on the blog at www.dennisonthego.com/blog.

So climb aboard explorers! Let’s go have an adventure!