How do you handle a midlife crisis? I chose to head mine off at the pass. As my 50th birthday and the empty nest of my last child leaving for college approached, I set a huge goal for myself of hiking all the trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – in one year. I am very proud to say that I accomplished my goal, walking 1,075 miles between April 11, 2008 and April 11, 2009. While completing the challenge in itself was rewarding, the process led to new friendships, new skills (including blogging) and a new sense of self.
Now I’m a dayhiker and backpacker rambling around the mountains of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia…and occasionally venturing much farther. I’ve got a lot of good years left, a lot of new trails to travel, and I plan to die with my hiking boots on.