Thursday, July 3, 2014

Welcome to Our Journey. . .

Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.  It's one of those things.  You know the things.  You read about them and think how cool it would be to do it.  You see blogs about it or know someone who did it, and you wish that it was possible for you to do it.

Well, that's kind of how it is with us.  We are Jen (trail name: Ironjen) and Jeff (trail name: Muskrat).  We are newlyweds from Washington, DC, and we are both ready for big changes!

When we met, I was working as an endurance coach and part time photographer and using my background in law enforcement as an instructor for a private security company.  I was racing Ironman triathlons (hence the name "Ironjen") and feeling out what the next big thing would be.

Jeff was a federal government manager with a love of ultra-endurance cycling, and a plan to make a big life change, starting with a 2014 ride across Asia along the Silk Road. (Muskrat was a nickname from his Team Love days on the AIDS Ride, where he was known as "Muskrat Love.")

We met, and all of the plans changed.  I went full-time with the photography business, leaving the dirty security stuff to people better suited to such things, and we decided to postpone the ride across Asia for awhile to allow us to concentrate on getting married and saving for the trip!

We love our little Capitol Hill neighborhood, but we still feel most at home in the mountains.  Our first vacation together was in the Rockies, and, as usual, neither of us wanted to come home.  Plans began to form for a move west.

We were aiming for July 2014, so now. . . but. . . then I read him Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods while we were on a road trip to North Carolina.  Then we read David "AWOL" Miller's AWOL on the Appalachian Trail, and I shared my 2014 thru-hiker friend, Heidi's blog about her current AT adventures, and the idea just wouldn't shake loose from my mind.

I know from experience, which I'll share in more detail later, that the best time to drop everything and go is at a transition point in life.  The times between locking oneself into large responsibilities are great wide open doorways to adventure.

I proposed that we work out a budget for the trip and see if it was feasible for us to do it next spring, as a huge and exciting 4-6 month punctuation between our life here in Washington and our life in Colorado.

A little research and a spreadsheet told us all we needed to know about whether this was possible or not.  It's not just possible; it's perfect.

So, join us on our journey from Washington, DC to Springer Mountain to Katahdin to Colorado.  Maybe along the way, you'll find your way to your own great adventure.

©2014 Jennifer Magnuson, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

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