So today’s update really does not pertain to hiking but it does fit it. A couple of weekends ago I attended a Eagle Scout award ceremony. During the ceremony there were talking about the total number of scouts that start the program and the number that had actually attained the rank of Eagle. The total number of Boy Scouts since the Boy Scouts of America’s inception in 1910 is 114,304,329. The total of those scouts that earned the rank of Eagle is 2,043,375. That is 1 in 20 scouts who have earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Not only is it an honor to have earned the rank of Eagle Scout but to consider myself to be on a list with many of this nations greatest leaders, pioneers, thinkers, and doers. Some on that list include Mike Rowe, Steven Spielberg, Neil Armstrong, and Sam Walton. A full list of the historic scouts can be viewed here.
Not only can I claim to be one of the 2 million Eagle Scouts I can also claim to be one of the 908,047 scouts who have backpacked Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Each treck lasts 12 days and covers anywhere from 50 to 103 miles. Not to toot my own horn but I have actually attended Philmont twice during my scouting career.
So how is that relevant to hiking the Appalachian Trail? My love of the outdoors and hiking has never gone away. The time to do it has. Its hard to take the time for yourself and just go hiking. Hiking the AT will change all of that. The training and knowledge I have from Scouting and my two trips to Philmont have created a very strong foundation that will help me complete my task of hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Do I think I can hike the Appalachian Trail? Heck Yes. I’ve already done something that’s 500% times harder.
Hiking the Appalachian Trail is a huge undertaking and like the trail to Eagle is a hard treck. It requires dedication hard work and determination. There are many who have tried to complete a ” thru-hike” but not many complete it. According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy “Each year, thousands of hikers attempt a thru-hike; only about one in four make it all the way.” Since the 1930’s there have only been 11,823 recorded or known completed thru-hikes. All it takes is one step to start the journey but it takes thousands to find out what you learned during the adventure.