Thursday, January 25, 2007

One of my dreams

People have blogs for different reasons and how they write can vary from person to person. And sometimes it's really hard to get to know a person by just what they write about. You are limited to knowing just what they tell you. For me that can get a bit frustrating. I like to think I have a decent handle on who someone is and how their background and beliefs make them who they are. And then I get blindsided by a comment or a post and I feel like I'm starting all over in making a mental image of them. For some that's exactly what they want. And that's alright. But for me, I guess I want people to see the real me. I don't make stuff up and I don't talk about things that I don't care about or have an opinion on. Which is why I want to apologize...

There's a rather big part of me that many who read this drivel don't know about. I'm not hiding it; in fact I've mentioned it once or twice and it's in my profile. But I've never talked about it as being one of the major things in my life that make me tick. I think about it daily, I dream about it nightly, I study everything I can find about it, and my future will be dramatically changed because of it. Wow! With a build-up like that it sounds like I have a terminal illness or I'm running for president. Sorry, but nothing quite so intense.

For all of my adult life I've had a dream to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. This is no small undertaking and it's not an easy thing to do. Less than 10,000 people have done it and it's been around for almost 75 years. It takes about six months and $3000 to $5000 to do. The number of people that start vs. the amount who finish is less than 5%. Pretty intimidating numbers. For years I kept kicking myself that I didn't do it when I was younger [and thinner.] But a visit from an old friend a couple years back got me re-energized to do it. To that end I started making my plans. I started a [kind-of] hiking club where I send out e-newsletters to others who are interested in doing the same thing. With the help of Kimmy I set up a website to organize my plans. [Who am I kidding, Kimmy set the whole thing up herself.] When I actually hit the trail I'll have someone post my trail journals on the site so people can follow along with my progress. I may even use it to post the trail journal of the friend who got me into this again. She plans on thru-hiking in a year or two.

My plans are to do my thru-hike in 2010 or 2011. By then, Ell will have been out of school for a couple years, our credit cards will be paid off, we'll only have about 5 years left on our mortgage, and hopefully I'll be in much better shape. Ell has actually taken a very strong interest lately in joining me, which might happen. It puts a different spin on the trip, but definitely not a bad one. Who knows what this'll do to our lives, but they'll surely be different when we get back. A trip like this can be a life changing/defining thing. All I can say is that I can't wait!

There you go, now you know something else about me. If you want to check out my Appalachian Trail website click HERE. I'll add a link to it in my sidebar as well.


Blogger lyndsay said...

oh sam! i knew what you were going to write about at the end of the first paragraph (not that your predictable but that i know you) haha but i did learn that you call laura Ell..?

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sam, Two friends of mine, Nic and Jacelyn Davidson started that last year and had a trail journal. something happened and they weren't able to complete it, i felt bad for them. I was looking forward to their journal!! And living vicariously through them LOL! (they also were in china as missionaries for a couple of years!) Anyways, they were so excited..reading your post let me relive their enthusiasm. GOOD LUCK! I think that is great. I love to hear about adventures!

9:11 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Good luck brotha

3:58 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I can't wait to start on this 5% finishing adventure with you! It's going to be great!

9:55 PM  
Blogger Laura G. Young said...

Hello Sam --

Have you ever read, "A Walk In the Woods" by Bill Bryson? If not, you really, really should.


(the other) Laura

8:27 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I have read that book. Bryson is a very entertaining and educating writer, but a horrible hiker. In fact, most AT hikers scoff at him and the book. Even though they've all read it! :-)

3:32 PM  

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