7 reasons for thru hiking photo

You already know about how I got the idea to thru hike the Appalachian Trail, so here are seven reasons WHY I want to thru hike:

1) It’s my party, I can hike if I want to

One of the main reasons I want to thru hike the AT is simply just because I can.  I’m lucky enough to realize I’m in control of my own life and that I can pretty much live however I choose.  As long as I don’t get begin trusting politicians or get thrown in jail I figure I’m doing okay in life.  (I dont think I would make it very long in prison or politics so I’ll stick to thru hiking)

2) I like backpacks

I’ve been working at an outdoor retail shop called Quest Outdoors since May of this year and I freakin love my job.  I’m lucky  enough to work in a place that allows me to learn more about backpacking and it has helped me realize how much I enjoy the outdoor industry.  If I don’t end up going into teaching I can safely say that my career will be somewhere in the outdoor industry.

3) I want a really, really…..really long beard

I’ve had a beard for about three years and I’ve always kept it fairly clean… but I’ve been growing (no, farming) this beard on my face for about 8 months and it’s as rowdy as is it red.  I’m telling you, ladies and gentlemen, this beard keeps me going!  It’s like a motivational speaker that follows me everywhere I go!!  I look into the mirror sometimes and my beard just seems to say, “You got this, Zach.  Go out there and show the world what you’re made of!”  And I just look back into the mirror and say, “Alright, beard.  Challenge accepted.”

But anyway…I’m not shaving until I reach Katahdin.  (Sorry Chelsea)

4) I put my future career on the back burner to thru hike the AT

When Adam and I had the “Ok, we’re really doing this?” conversation, I made the decision not to apply to be a Jefferson County Public Schools teacher.  It was really hard for me not to go straight into a teaching job because it would have been the smartest move (from a professional/economical standpoint) on my part, but then I wouldn’t have been able to try and thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.  As of right now, I think putting off the teaching job for an opportunity to take part in an adventure of this magnitude is going to be completely worth it.

5) I want to learn more about myself

I’ve always been the type of person who loves a good challenge.  When I went to college it was pretty tough at times, but it was the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I’m much more happy with who I am today versus who I was when I started college.  I think the people I met and the challenges I faced in school helped mold me into the person I am today.  I can only hope the people I meet and the challenges I face on the Appalachian Trail will be as significant to my life as college was.

6) I’ve told everyone I know that I’m thru hiking

If you’ve talked to me for more than five minutes in the past few months, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ve told you what I have planned.  I mean, I’ve literally told everyone.  You think I’m joking, don’t you?  Hows this; I was on the phone with my bank trying to sort out some stolen credit card issues (screw you drugstore.com) and I wound up having a 15 minute conversation with the dude who was settling my dispute about my thru hike.

The point is,  if I come home with my tail between my legs I’m gonna have to explain myself to people.  I’m not doing that. Thru hiking isn’t supposed to be easy so when the times get tough I’ll try my best to consider it character growth.

7) If Sasquatch is out there, I want to find him

Self explanatory.  So folks, If he’s out there, Zachsquatch is gonna find him.

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