I’m Steve Adams and, though I’m a Brit by birth, I live in sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast. Being a Brit and living in the States, I tend to have a hybrid approach to spelling, so please forgive various transatlantic transgressions, whichever side of the pond you are on. I am 61 years old and recognise that my opportunity to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail is a window that is closing more rapidly than I would like. However, it is the very closing of the window that is motivating me even more to fulfil this long-held ambition.
Like many others, I read Bill Bryson in the 90’s and was transported back to my childhood of playing in the woods, getting dirty and coming home famished. We were never allowed to use the word starving, as our parents repeatedly invoked the starving children of Africa if we made such a claim. The prospect of playing in the woods for months on end, carrying all my possessions on my back and only washing intermittently is extremely alluring, though probably less so for those around me.
I’ve been an insurance man all my life and, having just sold the main part of my business, I am able, thanks in no small measure to the tolerance of my lovely wife, Diane, to embark upon this journey. Diane and I married just over six years ago, in a great ceremony in the Turks and Caicos, so we are relative newly-weds. I’d like to take the opportunity right now to acknowlege her fantastic support for my adventure, as she will be sending me food packages at regular intervals and freeze-drying everything for my eating pleasure. I will be the best-fed person on the trail.
One of the most exhilarating and tantalizing thoughts going through my mind is that, from October, when I return, I have absolutely no idea what I’ll be doing next. It is extraordinary how liberating this thought is and I hope that my hike gives me clarity to make a good decision for my future. The best thing is that a decision won’t need to be made until then. All I will have to think about is putting one foot in front of the other for about 5,000,000 steps. Awesome!!