So this is starting to get really real!  We leave for GA early tomorrow morning and I’ll begin hiking on Friday.

I’m very anxious to get going.  Hope I’m ready!

Two of the things people commonly ask if I’m nervous about are (1) bears and (2) scenes from Deliverance. I’m not worried about bears.  Figure I can outrun at least one other hiker!  To the Deliverance references, I’ll just say that I’ve practiced my pig squeal!

I do have some concerns. Most of them center around not finishing. and these are the biggest…

Ticks and Lyme Disease. My biggest concern by quite a bit.  The deer ticks that carry Lyme disease are very small and difficult to spot.  Don’t want to get laid up somewhere for a week (or longer) with Lyme disease.  Not good!

My Survival Skills. I’m not a fan of camping and I have no experience doing anything like this.  My mechanical skills are minimal (and Kris would say that they’re worse than that!).  It’s so bad that I am concerned about tying knots!  You get the picture.  Hopefully I don’t have to fix anything in the middle of nowhere!!

Lousy Weather. Not a big fan of walking in the rain.  Even less a fan of being cold at night.  Timed my start date to try to avoid snow.  I have some concern with my sleeping bag.  Shaved 3 or 4 ozs of weight but it’s only recommended to 29 degrees.  Most hikers start with a bag rated to 20 degrees.  Hope I don’t regret that decision!

Emergency or Injury.   I know that it will be painful at times.  Hurt I can handle.  Getting injured would suck!  I hope my family and friends stay safe and healthy while I’m gone.

Thanks again for all of your support.  To all of you who have pledged, double thanks!!  We’ll keep the pledge page open during entirety of hike so get your family and friends tuned in!

8 thoughts on “Concerns

  1. Here is a quick tip for saying warmer at night if you think your bag isn’t going to cut it on the colder nights. Boil some water and put it into a water bottle, place that bottle inside your bag down near your feet to stay a little warmer. Good luck and have fun!!


  2. All the best Pete. I now think of you on my daily treks around Cuenca. I’ll be with you in spirit. I’m jealous and envious and I know you can handle it. As you said in a recent communique, the mental part will likely be the biggest challenge. I’ve always thought you to be mentally tough.

    I’m sure you have the best available repellent regarding insects. Carol’s niece’s husband, who through hiked the AT from north to south about 18 years ago, told me that insects were his biggest challenge.

    I know you have the right footwear too. Armed with it (and Tommy Johns) everything will be good.


    Sent from my iPhone



  3. I know you well enough to know your biggest challenge will be your competitive nature, especially in the first month or so. Don’t overdo it trying to keep up with young legs in the early round. You’ll pass them later. There’s no Lardy’s on your tail!

    A wise man once told me (on Jack Murphy hill) to tuck my chin into my chest, my hands into my pockets and keep going. There’s no way you won’t complete this trek.


  4. Safe journey Jeff. We’re all cheering you on.

    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________


  5. Congratulations that your journey has finally started! I can’t wait to hear all about it and see pictures from along the way. I’ll have several ice cold Buds ready for you upon your return!! 🙂

    Wave to my family when you’re going through Maryland. It’s a beautiful area!!

    Also, be on the lookout for Jim Pellitier in and around the northern portion of the trail. He’s a super friendly and extremely knowledgeable guide and volunteer for the trail and has been for many years. He was an acquaintance of my husband’s and mine at our last club in Massachusetts.

    Good luck and be safe!!
    Patti 🙂


  6. Keep your tick spray handy for those little critters! Have you ever seen Singin’ in the Rain with Bing Crosby – I suppose you are too young – but if you have you can sing and dance your way part way along the trail in the rain – Heck, no one will be watching you except, of course, our Lord and He would find delight in something like that. Just imagine that you are Bing for a bit! I think you will surprise yourself as to what you are capable of as far as the camping skills, the aches and the challenges along the way – Like your folks, you come from a tough Norwegian background making you physically and mentally sound. Of course, you know we’ll all be lifting up prayers daily for you. Enjoy your journey, struggles and all, – making it or not isn’t as important as the venture, the journey, itself, and what you glean from it. How character building! We are envious of you, as we are sure many others are – so gutsy! (Ralph has always wished he was younger so he could try out for Survivor!) We’re sure you will be journaling and what a keepsake that will be for your daughters! Foremost, remember that He will be present with you every step along the trail and that you can turn to Him for advice, needs, encouragement,”whatever” – He is there to listen and answer your prayers. We’ve enjoyed reading your posts so far – thank you! Now go out and tackle all those elements headon and relish the inbetween times – the sunrises, sunsets, nature, the whistling wind, (I heard it might be more like 40 miles per hr. tomorrow – I guess that’s more like a walloping wind:)) the beauty, the silence etc. You’ll be living your dream starting tomorrow – we wish you a safe and fulfilling adventure! May God Bless!


  7. Okie Dokie Pete!! Today’s the day!! I realize it will probably be awhile till you read this- but know that Susan and I are thinking about you today as you begin this amazing journey! Prayers headed your way (and to Kris, too!) and I know you’ll be OK. Actually, better than OK! I do hope you took along plenty of memory cards for your camera- they’re light!
    Peace, and have a wonderful journey!



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