I met JD Antonen on the Appalachian Trail in 2014 and, as one often did, we shared the odd meal in a shelter and ran into one another from time to time. He was out of the military and had just suffered a traumatic life event, so his journey up the east coast of America was not without internal strife. Yet, as he made his way north, he succumbed to the beauty of the trail, the kindness of people, and the realization that he didn’t have to do it all alone. Yet, when he returned home, he became afflicted by a crippling depression that seemed to snuff out the good that had come from the trail.
Luckily, he met and married Amanda, who had never been a backpacker but was somebody who shared his joy in being outdoors. Despite swearing that she would never go on a long-distance hike, one day Amanda felt compelled to fight for parental justice in the court system and her outlet was a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. To that end, the two of them will be heading out in April and intend to use their hikes to promote causes greater than themselves.
You can find out more about JD and Amanda’s projects by clicking on any of these links.
Amanda‘s Project Addi Facebook page
Amanda‘s fundraising page
Amanda‘s Punished For Protecting page
JD‘s Help End 22 Facebook page:
This week, in Doc Spot, Lynne and I are starting a conversation about the strange phenomenon of post trail depression. We’d really welcome your input, either via email at email@example.com or on my Mighty Blue Facebook page.
As always, come over to Returning To Katahdin: An Appalachian Trail Dream, where Bruce is now counting down the days to his departure next month.
Of course, both shows are so grateful to Trailtopia for their support and sponsorship.