Hi. My name is Taylor, I’m 16, and I live in New Hampshire. As you are probably aware, my family and I are attempting a NOBO (northbound) thru-hike of the AT in about 2 weeks. I’d like to give a brief intro and explain my reasons for wanting to be involved in this somewhat crazy adventure.
A little about me. I’m a military kid, and have been all my life until about a month ago. It was an honor to call my dad my hero, and for him to literally be one. However, it presented our family with unique challenges that not many others really understand, like constant moving, long deployments, etc. Those experiences have shaped me into who I am today.
I enjoy skiing, climbing, shooting, weight lifting, bacon eating, and other man things! I am currently a ski patrolman at a local ski hill here in NH. (Basically, a lifeguard on skis.) I read a lot, and I like to write, so you can probably expect my corner of this site to fill up over the next couple months.
This leads to me to the “Why?”. Why in the world would I want to leave my regular life behind for six months and live in the woods. Excellent, valid question.
Here are the answers:
First off, I am walking for those who can’t. By that, I mean the friends of mine whose families have been torn by this war, by mental health issues caused by it, or by physical injuries, even death, that it has inflicted. I’m walking for the kids like me. Kids whose parents marriages have suffered because Daddy couldn’t figure out how to live back in a civilized world. I’m walking for the mother, whose child took his or her own life because they couldn’t shake the effects of war they experienced. I’m hiking for the soldier that didn’t come home, because he was making sure that someone else could. I’m dedicating my effort for those that can’t.
Secondly, I am hiking for myself. There are things that have taken place in my life that hurt, a lot. Events that nearly broke me, and experiences that I don’t understand fully. I’m hiking to find the answers, or to arrive at a place where I can accept that fact that there are no answers to these questions. On a similar note, I am hiking to possibly find the answers to what I want to do, and where I want to go with my life after the trail and high school. I need some time to think, and some time to pray about all of these questions.
Finally, I am hiking to learn, and listen. Nature has an amazing way of telling you things you didn’t realize you needed to hear. This hike will be a struggle at times, and it is at these times that I want to push myself and learn where my weaknesses are when life gets hard.
That’s about it for this post. I’m looking forward to this journey, and taking you all along for the ride. Happy trails.