A 2,200 mile drive anywhere seems daunting, no matter the purpose — road trip with friends, family trip to the beach or camping trip in the middle of the mountains. When you factor in that the 2,200 miles is one-way, you would be carrying everything you need and that you would be sleeping on the ground for your trip, it seems a lot more daunting.
Lee County native Jan Brown is soon setting out for the Appalachian Trail — come rain, sleet, snow or hail. She has been training for this trek for years and is looking forward to the journey.
“I guess I want to do this because, well partly because I’m crazy and it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I sold my business and had time to research it. I love to hike and I love the outdoors,” said Brown.
The Appalachian Trail is a hiking trail which spans from Georgia to Maine and crosses several national parks and scenic trails. Brown is a park fanatic and spends her free time volunteering as a campground host for Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
“The Appalachian Trail is something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m not getting any younger. If I don’t get to do it now, I might never have a chance to do it,” said Brown.
Her pack, weighing a total of 23 pounds, includes a water filter, sleeping mat, tent, changes of clothes, dried food and toiletries. There are shelters and places where she can restock supplies along the trail, which will be often since she will be burning 4,000 calories hiking anywhere from 8 to 15 miles per day.
She is a 1978 Thomas Walker High School graduate, received a degree in physical education from Lincoln Memorial University and received her master’s degree in education from University of Tennessee in 1983. She owned a franchise of Snap-On Tools for several years until she retired to focus on her hiking career.
“For me this hike is about being a part of that community, getting to know people for just who they are. There’s no judgment there because we’re out there doing the same thing, no baggage, just out there as a free spirit hoping to accomplish the same goal,” said Brown.
To follow Browns travels, check out her blog at https://littlebearhiking.wordpress.com.
Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.