I'm Nicole and I want to tell you a little bit about myself and how I came about creating this little website.
When I was in college at Virginia Tech I discovered that I loved hiking and camping. The Appalachian Trail was just a short drive away and I spent many afternoons walking up mountains. After graduating and working for a couple of years I decided to try to hike the entire trail. The day I stepped out of my dad's car at Amicalola State Park in Georgia, near the southern terminus of the trail, I had no idea what was in store. I'd hiked but never backpacked, and here I was with my 55lb pack on my back setting my sites on walking all the way to Maine. I discovered a lot about myself in those months. I could live with an extraordinary amount of discomfort if I was doing something that I loved. I was much stronger and braver than I ever realized. I could have a far reaching goal while still enjoying every step it took to get there.
Many adventures followed. And with each of them came it's own set of challenges and discoveries. Like the time I came face to face with a wild boar in the Great Smoky Mountains and discovered that, while terrified, I had an unconscious instinct to draw my knife and prepare to defend myself. Or the countless trips getting rained on, sometimes with thunder so strong I could feel the ground shake, and coming out of my tent the next morning with a mental clarity as clear as the morning air (when you're stuck in a single person tent for 15 hours you have time to do a lot of soul searching).
In July 2017 I climbed The Grand Teton in Wyoming as a Summit for Someone fundraiser for Big City Mountaineers. Not only did I achieve something incredible for myself, but I was a part of something meaningful. With the support of many wonderful donors and friends I raised more than $4,000 for Big City Mountaineers while experiencing the adventure of a lifetime.
I originally started this website as a way to share my Summit for Someone journey. Now that the climb of the Grand Teton is behind me I'll be using this little site as a way to share other adventures, thoughts, and hopefully, some inspiration. Because if I've learned anything along the way, over all the miles and through all the challenges, it's that I'm much tougher than I give myself credit for. And I'd wager a bet that you are too.
Finding a backpacking spork in Harpers Ferry was a joyous occasion.
Snowboarding and exploring in Wyoming
Selfie with Fabio the wild pony
If you want to reach your goal bad enough you'll even climb a firetower in a snow storm to get there.
Just a little fog in Pisgah National Forest
Taken after being stuck in a tiny tent for 15 hours in terrifying thunderstorm. I was pretty happy to see blue skies again.
The day I forgot to pack gloves but had an extra pair of socks so... you can guess.
One of my most memorable experiences - a glass of champagne to celebrate my birthday on the top of Jungfrau in Switzerland.
The Great Smoky Mountains has my heart.
I had the distinct honor to hike with GSMNP Superintended Cassius Cash.
I managed to squeeze 100 miles of hiking into 3 weekend trips to the Smokies to complete the park's Centennial Challenge.