It has been one hell of a journey and we have yet to walk a single mile of trail. Sponsorships are still trickling in and just the other day, three hikers dropped out to pursue simpler projects. Those remaining are itching to start and to see what we can accomplish, both as a team and individually. Thru-hikers are always up for a challenge and we have certainly set some lofty goals for ourselves.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been living and working in Mammoth Lakes, California. My former employer took me back for the month so I have been able to make some money while seeing friends and getting accustomed to elevation. The training feels more like play while the snow levels are favorably low. The month is flying by and I feel sadness at having to leave this place so soon.

The 6,800 miles hang casually ahead of us. My goals are short-term but will be adjusted as necessary. Nerves are nonexistent as starting a hike is second-nature. Belongings lay scattered about my room and the to-do list grabs more of my attention every day. Leaving this place is getting easier but the urge to return only grows.

For now, we must hike. Over a year of anticipation and planning is finally coming to fruition. I am beyond excited for our team to begin this adventure and can’t wait to see what happens over the next ten months!

Knots –

Brian Cornell

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