The Journey Begins

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible: and suddenly you are doing the impossible.   -Francis of Assisi

          Jesse has been reading about,studying,researching,dreaming and planning this journey for about 6 years now. March 20,2019 his dream will become a reality.
        Researching equipment,safety issues, food prep and learning from past hikers experiences has been a huge part of his preparation process.
           Jesse purchased 2 copies of “2019 Northbound: The A.T. Guide”, which is a handbook for hiking the trail written by experienced AT hikers. He will be taking a copy with him and the family has another copy. This guide is an amazing tool. It shows hikers where all their needs can be met along the trail. It shows water sources, shelter options,altitudes, bear areas, resupply areas, post offices where resupplies can be mailed to thru-hikers, contact for shuttle services that will drive hikers to nearby towns, maps of hiker friendly towns, places that will allow hikers to work for their stay,etc. It is an absolute must for thru-hikers.
      Jesse will be sending pictures and video home periodically so we can post them and fill everyone in on his progress, his trials and tribulations, and most of all sharing stories of the people he meets along the way and an insite into his spiritual journey.
       While carrying his winter gear at the beginning of his trip he will only be able to carry a weeks worth of food at a time so we will be mailing lots of packages out at the beginning. Once warm weather is here to stay he can send back his winter gear and free up much more space for food. Post offices will hold packages for hikers for up to 30 days. Also,if a hiker is not needing a care package at that time they can bump the package up one time to the next post office at no charge.
      Freeze dried and dehydrated foods will be his staple for the entirety of his trip. He has worked hard on dehydrating and packaging foods as well as purchasing foods from Mountain House such as canisters of dried chicken and beef. This will be our biggest responsibility back home…making sure his food supply stays plenished.
      During his journey we are encouraging him to periodically stop in small hiker friendly towns to rest, rejuvinate and resupply. This is an added expense but one that we feel is needed to keep his spirits up as well as giving his body much needed time to heal. This is where he needs to splurge on some good,nourishing,hot food. Through the guide book we will be able to post where he is as well as where his next stop will be.
       There are many ways that supporters can help Jesse fulfill his dream. We have set up a GoFundMe account for those wishing to make cash contributions. I also have posted links to Mountain House and PEI which are his sources for food and gear. Both sites have gift cards for purchase. For those wishing to purchase food from Mountain House, those items can be mailed directly to our home where we can add them to his care packages as needed.
         Phone and internet service will be iffy for much of his journey but as he reaches towns he will check in with us as well as look on this site for messages from supporters. I can not emphasize enough how much encouragement and hellos will mean to him. So please, if he pops in your head, please take the time to just send him an “atta boy” and some love. He has heard many stories from past hikers who have made it clear there will be some really bad days. One hiker mentioned the word “cryking” (cry hiking). Jesse is adament that if he decided he can no longer go on he will not do it on a bad day as there will be many. These bad stretches will be  when encouragement from home will be most needed and appreciated.
      There will be several of us working on this blog through out this journey. Andrew is the video genius who will help edit and upload items sent back by Jesse. I (Momma) will be perfecting my skills at blogging. This is a new format for me so please be patient.
       We , along with Grandma and Grandpa McLaughlin, will be dropping him off in Georgia the morning of the 20th. Grandma has been one of his biggest supporters. They live within 2 hours of the AT during his hike through Georgia and North Carolina so he will have the peace of mind knowing that family is close during the beginning stages of his hike.
       Feel free to ask questions. He is more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Please check in often and by all mean feel free to share this blog.





3 thoughts on “The Journey Begins

  1. So happy for you that you are doing what you have hoped and planned for… I will be thinking of you and praying for you as you embark on this journey. Can’t wait to hear more on this amazing experience!
    Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tree Man aka Jesse I am so happy for you and the things you are experiencing. I’m so glad we became such good friends before you left. I miss you like crazy and things arent the same without you here but I’m so happy for you. The phone calls from you make my day. Ill continue thinking about you always talk to you soon stay safe buddy miss you tons.


  3. Wow Jesse this is an amazing adventure! I hiked a small part of the trail and it was exhausting! But glad I did it, even just for 9 hours. I’ll be anxious to hear your updates


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