Appalachian Trail, Books, hiking

Becoming Monkey Toes

I just finished reading a great book named “Becoming Odyssa” by Jennifer Pharr Davis.  It is about Jennifer’s first thru hike on the Appalachian Trail in 2005.  She started the trail as a solo female hiker at the age of 21.  The book chronicles the time she spent on the trail; starting at Springer Mountain in March and finishing at Mount Katahdin months later.

She paints an amazing picture of what someone can expect on the AT, mile by mile and state to state.  I had a hard time putting this book down and it only intensified my desire to hike in her footsteps.  The book was suggested to me in an all women Facebook group that I follow.  The women there said that it would be a great book for my friends and family to read as well.  I was excited, sad, happy, fearful, and hopeful for “Odyssa” (Jennifer’s trail name) as a read about each experience she faced.  It made me feel less apprehensive about doing a solo hike, because there were very few times that her hike was actually solo!  She meets great people, famous people, annoying people, naked people and so many trail angels along the way.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone, male or female, that is planning on hiking any part of the trial in their life.  Because of Jennifer’s book I know not to stay in Duncannon and that mop handles float!  And one of my favorite quotes was from a workshop Jennifer attended before her hike started.  The instructor was Dr. Warren Doyle at the Appalachian Trail Institute and he said:

“You need to know that the trail can and will change you.  Once you finish the trail, your life might not look the same as it did when you started.  If you don’t want things to change, then you need to rethink thru-hiking.”

I welcome that change in my life.  I want to find out exactly what kind of person I am and will become before, during and after my hike.  I know I am strong but I want to break free from the everyday and be responsible solely for myself.  I want alone time and to feel confident during those times.  I want to meet new people and make a lasting impressions not based on my looks or my past, just at face value.  I am not trying to run away from anything but more so run towards a new outlook on life, my life.

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