Wednesday, December 26, 2012

looking ahead: 2013

Pie in the Sky
As mentioned in the previous post, 2012 was a relatively great year for running and hiking with exception of a job search and move, which eclipsed much of our summer break. I’ve been spoiled over the years with opportunities to indulge in some big summertime adventures. This may be a thing of the past, but I’m selfishly hoping to spend one more summer doing something big...

If the stars happen to align in 2013, that something big will hopefully be a third thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. It will have been six years since my hike in 2007 and twelve since my hike in 2001. With two months off from my current job, I would take this opportunity to attempt a “self-supported” southbound thru-hike in less than sixty days (37 miles/day).

The main purpose of this hike would be to celebrate the challenge of moving fast, light and free along the trail. The “self-supported” guidelines that I would follow are modeled after the walk and talk of Scott "Bink" Williamson:
  • Walk into and out of resupply towns to purchase or pick up prepacked and mailed supplies.
  • Hike as a backpacker, carrying all food and equipment between resupply towns.
  • Follow the official AT route, no detours, road walks or alternates of any kind.
  • Do not have anyone follow, or provide support in a prearranged manner.
  • Do not get into a vehicle for any reason during the attempt.
  • Honestly and thoroughly document the attempt.
  • Practice Leave-No-Trace ethics.
For those who read my blog, this probably doesn’t come as any real surprise as it has been something I’ve been thinking about (and mentioning from time to time) for a couple of years. It’s still pie in the sky, but I will continue to tweak my gear and itinerary speadsheets with fingers crossed for a summer 2013 launch. Happy New Year and I’ll be sure to keep you guys up to speed!


Casseday said...

Awesome! I am very excited for you Matt. This is going to be fun to along w/ the prep and execution.

Happy New Year!

Peter J. Barr said...

So excited to follow your possible grand adventure in 2013!

Caleb Boyle said...

Yes! Looking forward to following along!

Steve Pero said...

Matt, I'm jealous! Deb and I hope to thru hike someday, too as a couple. This may not be until i can retire in about 9 years....but possibly sooner.
Best of luck with your hike!

mkirk said...

Thanks guys! Fingers crossed that this can happen. Logistical hurdles seem to increase with age...

Peter J. Barr said...

luckily what hasn't changed with age is your lust for bigtime adventures. you remain a constant inspiration. keep us all posted during your planning & prep for summer!