I joined the Appalachian Mountain Club a few months ago, in anticipation of being able to be active again. After which, I searched obsessively through the various events for things I could participate in. Although organizations like AMC have existed since before we started using the internet, I am often very thankful for the opportunities being connected digitally can bring to us.
It was through AMC that I found a week volunteer trip in New Hampshire, a women’s spike trail crew vacation. Although I was instantly intrigued, at first I dismissed it. I didn’t have all the gear I would need, after all; tent, backpack and work clothes. The White Mountains are also a pretty decent haul up north from central New Jersey–around 8 hours. I just purchased a Jeep Renegade in the fall. So did I really want to put that many miles on my brand new car?
Sometimes You Gotta Just Go For It
Yet, I couldn’t ignore the fact I really wanted to go on the trip. It may not seem like a big thing for many people. There are others out there who I am sure do far more interesting, exciting and adventurous tales that this one week will be. Sadly, I have to be more conservative in my selection. I can only afford and have time to do so much. My Weekend Warrior identity whispers “choose wisely” in my ear at every trip I consider (that didn’t just sound creepy).
Although I’d never heard the word “spike crew” before; I later learned this means in the backcountry. Most of my outdoor adventures as an adult are lone escapades, which I don’t mind. I’ve done a lot of solo hiking in New Jersey. When I was younger, my father use to take me hiking and fishing as well, but there is quite a large gap between when I was a teenager and now in my early thirties where we didn’t go out as much. I joined AMC essentially because I wanted to do more group outings, and to learn more. Since volunteering has always been something I’ve been passionate about, this trip seemed to be the perfect choice. I love hiking–should I not therefore help maintain the very thing I am privileged enough to be able to enjoy?
Before I knew it, I was sending my application. Then I was in.
I’m leaving Sunday.
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