So here we are with my first post. I’ve run across a few references that really are drawing me to the trails. One of them was an article called The Smartest Businessman on the Appalachian Trial. (http://www.inc.com/magazine/20101101/the-smartest-businessman-on-the-appalachian-trail.html) which profiled Winton Porter’s shop Mountain Crossings in Northern Georgia. As luck would have it I ran across David Miller’s book AWOL on the Appalachian Trial a few weeks later which I quickly burned through. (http://www.amazon.com/AWOL-Appalachian-Trail-David-Miller/dp/1935597191/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1291572671&sr=8-1)
I cannot say that I’m an experienced hiker since I have only gone for day hikes. I lived in Alaska for a few years and went on a number of 5-10 mile hikes then, but those were pretty informal trips. Now I’m looking to start on more of a journey. I am a chronic workaholic and have a hard time taking enough vacation time. Even my non-work time tends to be technology related so I haven’t had sufficient time to decompress. My mind needs a break, and some time away from technology would be a very good thing.
My initial goals are modest. I would like to do regular day hikes at least once or twice a week. I’m in a relatively good area for some simple trails, but Western North Carolina has a rich selection of fantastic trails and sights. I plan to take at least a few day and multi-day trips next summer around Mt Pisgah. More on that later, one step at a time.
Aside from the reading I’ve done that sparked my interest I then did a fair amount of research into some essential gear I will need. I was amazed to find how friendly the folks at REI are. While I have been in there before, I didn’t wasn’t really paying attention. At least 4-5 people helped me with questions on different things, and all of them were very cool and seemed very knowledgeable. I ended up getting a pair of Keen Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots. While they are a bit overkill for the local trails I’ll be walking, I think they will be needed for the trips I’ll be taking out west soon enough. I also picked up a small synch sack to carry some essentials. I’m a LONG way from needing a full pack for multiday backpacking trips.