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The Road Less Traveled...

I'm usually a very private person, but this past year has been one hell of a ride, and I would love to share my experiences with anyone who is willing to read them. My husband Zachary (Zach) and I have always chosen to take the road less traveled, and because of this, our lives are NEVER dull. 

Our journey began 11 years ago when we met in Florida at a DECA conference. We had both made it to the International DECA competition in Restaurant and Food Service Management. He was there to compete, I was there to strictly fulfill a scholarship requirement.

We were in a breakout session, when he sat down next to me. He tried to make conversation, and I was having NONE of it. Good thing he doesn't give up easily. My mindset was "all business."  Zach, who is much more extroverted than me continued to pursue a conversation, and the next thing I knew, he was taking me out to lunch at the Chinese Buffet across from the hotel. For the rest of the trip we were inseparable, and after 9 years of being together, we finally got married.  

Here we are when we first met, in Florida. 

It's a good thing  I finally got a handle on my hair........

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Here we are on our wedding day. 

Another reason I started this blog was to document Zach's hiking on the Appalachian Trail. We are very goal oriented people. Last year when thinking about what we wanted to accomplish in the next 10 years, Zach decided that he wanted to hike the entire Appalachian Trail before he turned 40. Zach has always been extremely supportive with accomplishing my goals and I am very excited to be a part of and in support of his. 

The Appalachian Trail is 2,200 miles long and goes from Maine to Georgia. I will serve as the "support vehicle" with dropping Zach off and picking him up. Zach will do most of the hiking. The ONLY part of the trail that I asked to be with him was the part that goes from Delaware Water Gap, PA which goes through Stroudsburg and then concludes in Wind Gap, PA (or better known as Fox Gap to hikers). I grew up in Stroudsburg, and have always wanted to hike the trail through that area. This part of the trail runs approximately 18 miles total. On our 1 year wedding anniversary weekend, we started Zach's goal together from the drop off point on Route 191 in Stroudsburg, PA, and walked the approximately 9 miles to Wind Gap, PA. Here we are starting the hike, and some pictures from that part of the trail:

Hiking the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania was not how I imagined it. It was extremely rocky and you are walking on top of sharp rocks and boulders for the majority of the 9 miles. From my parent's house, which has a picturesque view of the ridge that the trail runs on, and is about 20 miles away, it just looks like a typical mountain ridge.  I thought we would be walking on the spine with 360 degree views of the north, south, east and west. The top of the ridge is actually a plateau full of acres of rocky soil and forest. Other then the ascent up to where we took the pictures with the view, there were no other places that you could get a really good view to the north and south of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Even on our descent down to Wind Gap, there were unfortunately very few open areas in the trees to look out.  At the end of our hike, my feet, legs, and hips hurt, and my Timberland sneakers were ripped apart. 

I have reached a point in my life where I'm focusing on and enjoying the journey when accomplishing goals. But I'll be honest, I was happy when the 9 miles were over. I vowed to buy actual hiking boots before I walk with Zach from Stroudsburg to Delaware Water Gap. Although I was in shape when doing the first part (I walked at least 6 miles a week at the time), I really need to do some more uphill conditioning.

Zach is very excited to continue his hiking, and I vow to be a good "support vehicle." We are very thankful we live within 3 hours of the trail in New England, and I also vow to keep this blog updated as we continue our journey. 

Stay tuned, more to come.   

Tarah WarnerComment