Last month I shared my plan to go on a three-week hike on the Appalachian Trail this fall. I have now changed that plan and will be starting my three-week hike next week. I had planned the hike for the fall since I have a hard time hiking in the heat of summer. After checking the extended forecast and the average temperatures of where I’ll start hiking in Massachusetts I’ve decided that it isn’t too hot for me to hike. Hopefully, I am correct about that. It would cost me a lot of money and be a waste of time if I need to come home sooner than the planned three weeks.
Since I only planned this trip about a week and a half in advance it was cost prohibitive to fly to get to the trail. A one-way flight to Boston would have been over $300 and then I still would have needed to take a three-hour bus trip to actually get to the trail. After ruling out taking a flight, I looked at Amtrak and they have a train for $165 (after my $30 AAA discount) that will take me to a town just a couple of miles from the trail. The drawback to the train is that I’ll leave at 7:45am on Tuesday and won’t arrive until 4pm the following day. And it will probably be even later than that since in my limited experience Amtrak trains are usually late. I still think it is worth taking an extra day to get there in order to save over $150.
I was able to use my Southwest points to book a flight back to KC from Boston for almost free. I just had to pay $5.60 in fees. If I’m doing well after three weeks I can reschedule my flight and keep hiking. The flight will probably cost me some more points if I reschedule, but if I’m feeling good hiking then I’m okay with paying a few more points.
Part of the reason for deciding to hike now is that I’m not sure what I want to do long-term. I’m thinking about starting my own law practice, but am unsure if I can successfully do that. Since I know I want to hike the A.T. and it is one of my goals I decided to go ahead and hike now and put off making the law practice decision until I get back. Hiking should also help me on my weight loss, chin-up and 5k goals. It makes the writing everyday goal impractical so I’ve decided to set that goal aside until I get back. I’m hoping that when I get back from the hike I’ll have made good progress toward my goals and the correct decision will be clearer.