All the Ways You Can Follow My Adventure

Hey everyone! I leave on a 4pm train to Georgia in less than 45 days! I’m so excited. I wanted to write a brief post and let everyone else know how they can follow me on my journey.

  1. The Trek – https://thetrek.co/author/darlene-m/
  2. YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdep36F5tj95Ro-J7e6TTYA
  3. Trail Journals – https://www.trailjournals.com/journal/24586

These are the three ways I will be doing most of my documenting in the beginning. Once I get my feelers for which one is the easiest, least time consuming, and most compatible with my phone, I will update everyone.

You can also listen to my playlist and follow me on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2lhMTZiK3MIr4hrltwDe8m

I do have a GoPro and a great Sony camera. However, I got a new iPhone and it is proving to be all I need for my trip.

I will also be celebrating my 15th year of sobriety on the trail, so that is pretty cool.

The most important thing right now is that I get my pack right. I have packed and unpacked it numerous times and I still have a pile of stuff laying on the floor around it. I don’t understand it because I don’t have a lot of frivolous items.

Also, here is my hiking itinerary if you were interested in my approximate miles per day: http://www.wikitrail.org/planner/view/at/5754166884433920

I even watched Dixie on YouTube when she went over everything and I don’t have much more than that. I didn’t even pack my food yet!

Well, stay tuned and subscribe to my YouTube channel because I am going to be going over that in a week or so.

Thanks so much for following my journey!

Officially start my AT Thru-Hike March 2021!

Me Summer of 2020, manifesting my dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail! ©2020 DAMGarrity

Departing on March 12, 2021!

Yes! My train ticket is purchased and I will be on my way to Springer Mountain in early March. I have gone out to set up my tent twice since I purchased it from REI and each time it has gotten easier. There is some video of my first attempt on my YouTube Channel. Please feel free to subscribe. It is going to be hilarious. My next video will be my gear video where I go over all of the stuff I am going to take/not take with me. I’ll probably have to battle with the cat to get some floor space, so be sure to tune in.

Since I am taking the train down to Georgia, I am hoping my backpack will fit in the overhead. I feel like it will. This will be the second time in my life I take an Amtrak train southbound! I am excited. I will start the official countdown at 100 days.

No family this year for Thanksgiving. Everyone is sticking to their own homes… its a real bummer, but I guess it has to be. I went looking for a small turkey but could not find anything under 20 pounds! So it looks like it’ll be turkey left overs for a few days for me and the hubs.

As far as the gear video goes, I have a lot of gear, too much I fear. I am going to go through everything and hopefully get some input from some other thru-hikers in my AT group on FB.

One good thing is that there is a link called lighterpack where I can list my gear and people can look at it and how much it weighs. You can check that link out here. I had a pack weight of about 40 pounds originally (everything included) but now I have separated my pack and stuff I will carry always (base weight) from my other belongings. If you click the link, you’ll see what I mean. You can just view it. You don’t need an account or anything.

Oh yeah! Almost forgot that I will be blogging my experience for The Trek! Super excited about that as well. I guess I got a lot going on right now!

Hope everyone has a great holiday season… enjoy your Thanksgiving and remember to hug the people you love!

Blessed Be,

Darlene.

One Foot in Front of the Other

Me on the AT 2020 ©All Rights Reserved.

Hey. How are you? I’m living the dream and doing some serious soul searching. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Where do I go from here? All deep questions that I have contemplated for the last several months. I feel disconnected although my deep connection with nature is strong when I am out in it.

I ordered some more supplies to do longer hikes. I might start with just one overnight and see how that feels. I know there are people who have never hiked in their lives and completed the WHOLE AT and now have popular YouTube Channels and give great advice (I’m looking at you Dixie of Homemade Wanderlust).

I often wonder what more I could contribute to life since there are so many people living now that make great contributions… Like, what could I add? I think I could really add the aspect of my perspective – which is a sober one. Other than that, I have no idea. Still searching on that one.

I know I am tired. I am almost through with realtor school and then I will study and take my test. According to most, it is a thankless job that only pays a commission, but my plan is to use it to go in different directions. Again, we’ll see.

I have hiked many points on the PA part of the AT. Probably a good 230 miles of it is in PA and I have hiked roughly 60 of those miles in various places. It’s been sorta chilly and we have been leaving later than I like to, so we don’t see many critters, just lots of mushrooms and other hikers. Also, many overlooks… I can’t lie, I have wondered what it would be like to just ‘accidentally tumble down one.’ but then I put that thought right out of my head. Suicidal ideation is something I have dealt with for decades. I don’t talk about it because who wants to listen to that? So, I just post a happy quote up on my Facebook page every morning and fake it ’til I make it.

This coming weekend I am hoping for nice weather. I’m not sure about doing any sections of the AT this weekend – I might skip it. There are some parks I really want to explore like WORLD’S END STATE PARK. We drove through it once, but my daughter hiked there a few weeks ago and it looks fun.

If you feel like giving up, just keep moving. Look for something, anything to hold onto. There is always something… a loved one, a pet, a book, a memory, anything. ❤ Keep on keeping on.

Back from the Pandemic – onto Life.

Hey everyone! How are you doing? I am finally back from the pandemic… we were able to keep our home and business, and had to pool our resources in order to do so. I was keeping my attention on the shop and the home and so didn’t really have much time to blog or write. Didn’t even write for Medium really.

But now, that has changed.

Bald Eagle in Pennsylvania ©2020 DAMcGarrity

Since we have been back, our customers – who are super loyal – have been diligent in making appointments and getting tattooed. We love you all! I am now the shop manager, which means we have a system and appointment software. The shop is doing well.

My husband and I have started hiking… after a few years of just walking on trails in the woods and local parks and some spots at the Lehigh Gorge and maybe .01 miles on the Appalachian Trail right off of Route 611 last year, we walked about two (2) miles last weekend and inadvertently wound up on the AT. Two days later we went back to hike the AT for a bit longer – coming in right around four (4) miles. This time we brought more water but didn’t have proper footgear. We didn’t have any incidents, but yesterday I went out and bought hiking boots because I am serious about hiking. And I also bought a proper backpack. I had been using a little fashion pack to carry with me, but it is floppy and impractical.

We watched AT YouTubers last year and gave it a lot of thought, but with both of us working crazy hours and me being in school before, it didn’t make a lot of sense. This week, we are back to watching AT YouTubers and their journeys fill me with such joy. Especially Liz ‘Handstand’ Kidder, Evan, and also Dixie. Three great YouTuber AT people you will want to watch if you are interested.

Black Bear on the AT ©2020 DAMcGarrity

We have seen many critters on our travels, mostly some birds and bugs, a few deer and a snake or two. However, we were finally able to see a bear! Oh my, it was so exciting. As soon as we saw each other, we both froze… then he started walking again as I continued to stand still. I managed two pictures because I was so full of shock and glee. I keep thinking about that bear and it just fills my heart with peace and joy.

So, my husband and I have decided that we are going to start our own AT & hiking journey and possibly document it with video and blog entries. It is so close to my heart and soul of things I want to do with my life. And close to my husband’s as well.

What do you think?

One life.

Thanks so much for reading guys… I appreciate your support and love. Take care, hang in there, and let me know what you think in the comments!

Darlene