On April 1, my father and brother will embark upon the biggest journey of their lifetimes. Well, that's assuming a lot about what they'll do with the rest of their time here, but I'm pretty sure I'm right.
They're going to through-hike the Appalachian Trail. All of it. From Georgia to Maine. All at once. All 2,178 miles.
Here's a closer look. I literally can't imagine walking so far. They're going to walk from Georgia to Maine. (And no, my father doesn't have a mistress, thank-you-very-much).
Any guesses for how long it will take them? Well, if my brother is going to make it to his first class as a freshman in college, they'd better get 'er done in 4 1/2 months.
18 weeks of camping. Of eating dehydrated food. Of limited showers. Of burying your crap (I'm pretty sure you have to do that?). No beds (except maybe at some of the 'stations' along the way?)
I should just ask my Dad to guest blog and tell you all about his motivations and what he expects along the journey.
What I can tell you is that you'll be able to keep up with the ... Looks like Dad and Bro will need some aliases, too. Hmmmmm....
Anyway, you'll be able to keep up with them on their high falootin' website. They have a GPS that will communicate their current position and they will be posting periodic updates as their connectivity allows.
They're also leveraging this ultimate personal challenge as an opportunity to raise money for a philanthropy that is near and dear to my father's heart: Water For People. This organization brings vital clean water to underprivileged areas. You can pledge a donation for every mile they complete over on hikingforwater.org. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to Water For People.
The boys are also still accepting corporate sponsorships as well as direct donations of gear and food for their journey. If you'd like to help, you can find all the details on their website, too.
I know I'm biased, but I think this whole ordeal is pretty dang impressive. But the most impressive part? My mother.
She'll be on her own. Without my father's income. Without the 24/7 handyman in her 120 year-old farmhouse set on 16 acres. And the funny part - she's still got to feed them! She'll be shipping food throughout their journey - it'd be too much weight to carry all at once.
Her support in my father's dream is absolutely incredible. I don't know that I would be able to do that. Actually, I'm pretty sure I couldn't. Sure, I'd say I was just tickled pink about it. And speak of how proud I am (which I would be). But then I would jab in mini guilt-trippers every chance I got. And hint to the Stallion that he'd better do something unbelievably awesome for me when he got home.
Yeah, I know - I'm such a great person.
At least I'm honest.
I hope you find inspiration in this story and root on my family in whatever method suits you. Strangers especially!
P.S. The hikers are also on twitter: @hikingforwater
P.P.S. Yes, my mom has a bird on her head. WHAT? Look again.