Thru-Hiking in 2021 and also… NaNo!

Appalachian Trail Map!

Hello everyone! How are you making out these past couple of months? I am doing well. Is anyone doing NaNoWriMo this year? I am going to give it another shot this year. It’s a lot of fun trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days! My NaNo is https://nanowrimo.org/participants/damsteelman

Also, I am officially doing a northbound (NOBO) thru-hike in 2021! My YouTube Channel is https://youtube.com/channel/UCdep36F5tj95Ro-J7e6TTYA – – I will be blogging and vlogging my sober adventure through the wilderness of the mountains! I will be incorporating some sobriety into some of my videos but I’m not going to be an overbearing, hostage holding, drama llama… promise!

I have been purchasing hiking gear and equipment over the last few months so I don’t have too buy so much while I am getting ready next year. Also, doing some gear comparisons (tents, sleeping bags) in an Excel spreadsheet and watching a lot of hiking videos and reading hiker blogs. I am so excited!

I was on the fence about northbound (NOBO) or southbound (SOBO) but after discussing with my hubby, I decided NOBO is what I want to do. It seems to be the most common choice and it just feels right.

What are you up to this month?

Appalachian Trail, Come Back!

What’s going on everyone? I am doing well. The hubs and I are officially hikers (I guess?) and we recently hiked 12 miles on the Appalachian Trail this past Sunday. We didn’t see any critter like the other time, but there were some nice views once the fog cleared and a few people as well.

And lots of mud.

Me about to embark on the Appalachian Trail for a few! ©2020 DAMcGarrity

My husband and I recently started getting in shape and besides eating better food and drinking more water, we’ve taken up walking and hiking. We’re having a lot of fun getting in shape. I even came up with an official YouTube Channel name since the first one was Darlene A. McGarrity, blah blah blah. Now it is Sober Adventurer. I love it. Hopefully, they will let me have the name as I get more and more subscribers. I looked all over YouTube and the like for sober adventurers. I looked all over the hiking community for people who like to have fun and not drink.

Overlook ©2020 DAMcGarrity

And hey, if you are a drinker, that is totally cool! I have no beef with you. But there are people who struggle for ideas and with concepts of having fun without drinking or getting high. I know this because I was once that person.

As I watched all the videos of hikers finishing states and taking Zero Days, and finding restaurants, I noticed how many of them were talking about alcohol, drinking alcohol – it made me fee kinda sad for anyone on the AT or other hiking that wants to unwind afterwards without alcohol.

As I still struggle to find my purpose and calling (I have been so many things including right now being in real estate school and also an internet DJ!) I always navigate back to nature, every time.

So, we hiked and hiked – came upon two overlooks – we stopped and started. We laughed and we kinda got snippy with each other. Not only are we exercising more but we are both doing NutriSystem.

The whole premise to my chaos is to be able to hike the entire AT from top to bottom (or bottom to top) at some point in my life. Completely sober. I will be posting a new video soon! So make sure you subscribe to my channel.

As always, thank you so much for reading my blog! Be well. )O(

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