Hello all! Just a quick update before I start finishing up this journey for good.
I summited Mt. Katahdin and completed my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail on September 8th. What started with a naive, energetic young lad on March 26th, ended 167 days and 2,193.1 miles later with an exhausted, mountain man with a unquantifiable appreciation for the trail and the world around him. I will be providing future details on my summit and final days on trail in future posts, but there is something more important.
I will be closing down my fundraiser on Wednesday, September 29th. I was hoping to do a full week’s heads up on the closing, but the GoFundMe Charity platform I am using will be changing their set up, thus ending donations on the 30th. So I will be finishing mine up one day early to ensure all donations are processed and sent through to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
I can not thank you all enough for everything you have done. I found myself falling in love with the other-worldly community of the AT and their generosity for hikers. It became hard to think that the world I left, and would soon be returning to, could be anything like the haven I found on trail. But all of you, like the community of the trail, renewed my faith in humanity. From my family and friends, who from the start, shared my story with all their friends, continued to donate, share, and support me on my journey, I say thank you over and over again. To all the complete strangers, who went out of their way and did the same with the story of a random guy on the internet, you all are incredible and I thank you! I truly can not wrap my mind around how so many whole-hearted, genuine people can come together and help make a crazy dream come true. If you haven’t noticed, you all have raised far more money than I ever could’ve imagined. Our goal has not only been reached, but drastically surpassed. On trail, I didn’t reach out much to acquire donations, as the money part always seemed a little odd to me. But the conversations started, the stories shared, and the outright support of each other is something I am completely blown away by. I can not express how much appreciation I have for everything you all have done. You all have made this journey incredibly special not only for me, but for anyone who has randomly stumbled upon it and maybe needed a little more push to get them through their day. So to all of you, go enjoy a beer, treat yourself to some nice town food, take a leisurely weekend hike (or a 6-month journey on the AT), and enjoy yourself. You all have done something incredible that I will hold dear to my heart for the rest of my life. I feel like I need to write more to express how much you all mean to me, but there really are no words I can write down that will tell the immensity of what you all have done. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again!