Now that I've shared my hike with those beyond my close circle of friends and family I've received a variety of reactions ranging from the overexcited to the underwhelmed. Across all reactions, there were underlying fears and concerns about various aspects of the hike. Between the questions about bears eating me to how I'm going to carry all that food, my expectations that my fears would not match others became abundantly clear.
Without question, the most frequent response I've gotten is 'You're going alone!?'. It only briefly crossed my mind to do this with a partner or two. Unfortunately, I couldn't think of anyone with the resources or timing that matched mine, let alone someone I would be comfortable spending 6 months hiking alongside. While it'd be awesome to share this experience with someone else, I have fellow hikers and friends who will meet me on the trail for a few days for that.
I've read enough to know what I need to be cautious and concerned about (and no doubt I'll learn more when I get on the trail). When it comes to actual fear, my irrational fear of snakes will never disappear, so stepping on one of those bad boys will always be haunting my thoughts. I feel prepared, and I think that has done quite a bit to ease any actual fears I have. I know all my expectations of trail life will likely be thrown out the window as soon as I start the hike, but you'll just have to tune in and find out for sure.
I'm planning to head out on an overnight this weekend to test out some of my new gear, and will plan to report back and finalize my gear list.