The AT is more than just a footpath from Georgia to Maine. It’s a rock scramble, a mud bath, a rain shower, a green tunnel, a life changer. It teaches you that fun isn’t always easy and hard never means quit. Sometimes you feel like it’s breaking you down, but you push through and discover that it’s actually building you up and making you stronger, tougher and hungrier than you’ve ever been in your life. It’s the feeling of hitting that summit after pouring blood, sweat and pain into a climb that lasted forever. It’s Blood Mountain, Jacob’s Ladder, Clingman’s Dome, the Priest, the Whites, the Bigelows, and mighty Katahdin. It’s Top of Georgia, Trail Days, a side trip to Yuengling, Shaw’s and Super 8. It’s gaps in the south and notches in the north. It gives you a mountain top all to yourself. Or a shelter filled with friends. It gives you simplicity. It gives you true freedom. It makes you realize that angels don’t always have wings . Sometimes, they have sodas and sandwiches. And that there are still a lot of really good people in the world. At the end of each day, you are more exhausted, dirty, smelly, and alive than you have ever been before. It is truly an adventure of a lifetime, but not the adventure of a lifetime. It doesn’t stop there. There is just the beginning. It has prepared you so shut up and go for it. And remember to go BIG or go HOME.