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Jason Barg hiked the Appalachian Trail for TNC and StJUDE

Jason

Jason Barg

Trail: Appalachian Trail     Goal: 2189 Miles
Dates: Mar 31 2015 - Sep 30 2015
Outdoor enthusiast. Hiking for the challenge, the thrill, the adventure. Looking to figure it all out. This is really just a personal journey, but thought some people would want to get involved and this is a good way to give back. I figured ... more
Total
Pledges
Total
per Mile
Total
Pledged
Miles
Hiked
Dollars
Hiked
Total
Donated

43

$3.03

$6632.67

2189

$6632.67

$4775.58


$3316.33 $2387.79 (50%)


$3316.33 $2387.79 (50%)

Journal

Final Thoughts

Stafford, VA - Mile 2189 - Sep 10th, 2015

Well.... It has been a week. A good week. A fast week. The Hokies took a bad loss, but I am convinced they will recover. Most of this trip was about falling, failing, and recovering. Picking yourself up and dusting yourself off. Getting up and getting going in the right direction, again and again. The Hokies will do the same as I did. They will learn from their mistakes, grow, and get better. It will make them stronger. I am sure of it.
Anyways, I made it back to VA, from Maine, in about 16 hours. I got a free ride from my buddy Turbo and his mom. They took me all the way to Charlottesville, VA, my recent stomping grounds. I had a friend pick me up at 1am and have been trying to acclimate to the "real world" ever since. My body still aches a bit. My feet are still numb. Oddly enough, I sort of injured myself while resting. I slept awkwardly on a bed and have a terrible kink in my neck. But I'll pull through. Its in my nature. The "real world" seems faster and bigger than ever. There seem to be twice as many cars and trucks than I remembered. Showers, pillows and beds, while terribly missed, still seem a bit foreign. A bit too domesticated for an outdoorsman like myself. Even the name Jason, seems a bit out of place. This whole process may take awhile...
As I look back at all my photos, my memories, and friends, I still can't put into words what this thing really means. How do I describe the transitions I went through? The effort I put forward, the rewards I have received. The people who changed not only my hike, but my life's direction. The acts of kindness from total strangers. The evolution of my trip from an outdoor adventure to perhaps my finest, proudest moment. My biggest success, my greatest dream-come-true. From changing my perspective to guiding my future, this trip will forever be held in high regard. It signifies the point at which I took my life by the horns. Rode it from Georgia to Maine; and learned to enjoy the simple things in life. I learned to love the tests. The challenges. The struggles. I enjoyed finding myself. Finding and aligning my spirit and mind. Allowing my body to follow suit. Utilizing natures beauty, the positives and negatives, and everything in between to push me forward. Northbound.
On the long trip back from Maine, Turbo's mom had a number of questions. One of which struck a chord. She asked "were there any fears you had going into the trip?"
I remembered immediately, my one concern. What if I suddenly lost interest in the trail? What if I wasn't having fun, if my goals changed and the journey's end no longer mattered? What would I do? Quit? My only concern was losing what had been ever-present in me, since I first heard of the trail some 15 years ago.
It was a legitimate concern, but never once came to fruition. I loved the trail too much. I experienced too great an adventure. There was no way I would lose interest in hiking the AT. It was too much of a good time. It was too motivational, too powerful, too interesting and exciting for the lure to wane. Each day was filled with an electric intensity. In all honesty, it was intoxicating. It grabbed me from the beginning and may forever have a good hold on me.
Now, as the trail is behind me, I have only one concern. I don't want to forget what I learned. I don't want throw this thing in the memory bank and forget about it. I want it to be with me in everything that I do. I want to keep it close to the vest. I want to keep it in my heart until the day I leave this world. It taught me too many valuable lessons. It taught me what LIVING is all about. It showed me how to open my heart. How to wear my heart on my sleeve and to be proud of who I am and where I come from.
I have a confidence now that I have never had. I know so much more about riding the waves of life. I know how to use the lows and highs of life to facilitate my own success. How to push myself and maximize my own potential. How to set a goal for myself and chase it down with every fiber of my being.
The AT reinforced my belief that we are all capable of greatness. That we all have within ourselves the ability to be happy. To live free. To realize long lost dreams. That it is never too late to start truly living.
I look at things through a unique prism these days. I am so happy to have the light shining so brightly within me. The perspective it has given me is what I have always desired. It has provided me a new way to look at the world. It gives me hope and faith in humanity. Something the "real world" had a way of slowly dissolving. I hope these feelings never leave me. I hope to share this with others. To help inspire others. To show everyone that living is a precious gift. That every moment in life is actually an opportunity. That giving back is the way forward. That experiences like Thru-hiking the AT are more rewarding than you could ever imagine. That a rich life has nothing to do with money.
I see it now. I have it. I live it.
For me, for now, thru-hiking the AT is my greatest feat. But there is no time to rest. I will use this journey to inspire my next. Whether the Camino de Santiago or the PCT, I will be on the hunt for a new adventure. I will work hard for the next 6 months, then I will take off on a grand new experience. Allowing each one to inspire the next. It makes perfect sense. What better way to proceed in life?
Anyhow, I will be painting and repairing homes for the next few months. Trying to stockpile some funds. Then, who knows. I try to keep it open... not locked down. I try to allow my own goals to adapt and evolve. I do not want to be stagnant.
So, we'll see how it goes.
I know I am in a better place than when I began. My mind and heart are clear. I am headed in the right direction.
I look forward to catching up with everyone in person. I have plenty of stories to tell and am happy to answer any questions anyone has.
Again, I can't thank you all enough. You folks and this website are what gave my journey special meaning. I am forever indebted.
Thanks for the support, the interest and the motivation. Thanks for joining me. Thanks for hiking the AT with me. I hope to see you all soon. This is not the last of Michelangelo... it is only the beginning.
Godspeed,
Mic

Jason

Stafford, VA - Mile 2189 - Sep 10th, 2015

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83.00 paid, *see what I did there!?

Matt ODriscoll

Mar 09 2016 7:55PM

Jason,

Love your post. You are almost there!

John

John Peter

Jul 28 2015 08:19AM

I am amazed by your journey! Your writing logs make for great reading...I see wonderful fodder for an article in OUTSIDE. I just read a stat: Each year, thousands of hikers attempt a thru-hike; only about one in four make it all the way. I totally believe, heart and soul, that you will make it...and write about it later. Enjoy your adventure! Erica and the Zoo

Erica Zamensky

Jun 30 2015 9:45PM

Maybe 2-4 days so we can sneak a bloody Sunday in there eh?

Sean Snider

May 22 2015 8:47PM

Were gonna get you some food here mate "gotta eat...and chug a dr. pepper"

Sean Snider

May 22 2015 8:44PM

How about the trail name of Coolhook.

Aimee Connerton

Apr 22 2015 6:00PM

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Sponsors

Brandon Smith
$0.03 per mile
up to $65.67

$65.67 due

Brandon Barg
Way to go Jason!
$0.50 per mile
up to $1094.50

$1094.50 paid!

Matt ODriscoll
Jay Bird Soars!
$0.03 per mile
up to $65.67

$83.00 paid!

Chayne Caulfield
Epic experience that will last a lifetime!
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$109.44 paid!

Jim Lyons
Almost home Jason - keep hiking on!
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$109.45 due

John Wohlfarth
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$109.45 paid!

Lance Gilason
Go big or go home my man
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$109.44 paid!

Elizabeth Krousel
Good luck! So proud of you and your journey!
$0.03 per mile
up to $65.67

$65.67 due

Jen Ogden
$0.01 per mile
up to $21.89

$21.89 due

carl barg
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$109.45 due

todd melancon
good luck buddy. Rougarou and Palomino
$0.03 per mile
up to $65.67

$65.66 paid!

Bruce Peckens
Enjoy the views
$0.03 per mile
up to $65.67

$65.67 due

Alexandra Miller
See you out there soon!
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$109.45 due

Paul Mitchell
Go, Jason! The Spricks are cheering for you. Enjoy it, man.
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$109.45 due

Jon Sprick
Go, Jason! The Spricks are cheering for you. Enjoy it, man.
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$110.00 paid!

Corey Rader
Enjoy the view and the adventure
$0.25 per mile
up to $547.25

$547.00 paid!

kevin farischon
"Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure"
$0.25 per mile
up to $547.25

$550.00 paid!

Brian Gingrich
Enjoy the journey and be safe.
$0.02 per mile
up to $43.78

$50.00 paid!

Sean Snider
Beaver up, Beaver down
$0.01 per mile
up to $21.89

$21.89 due

Kevin Daniels
always trust it. beaver up.
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$109.44 paid!

Jerry Hoehn
My feet hurt just thinking about hikiing 2,189 miles!
$0.03 per mile
up to $65.67

$57.83 paid!

Anerew Smith
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$109.44 paid!

John Peter
Good Luck Jason looking forward to hearing your progress
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$109.44 paid!

brandon smith
"_____ isn't about the destination, but the journey."
$0.03 per mile
up to $65.67

$65.67 due

John Finch
$0.05 per mile
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$109.45 due

Bethany Pope
Keep beavering and inspiring! Grab life! Much love.
$0.05 per mile
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$109.45 due

Aimee Connerton
$0.05 per mile
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$109.45 due

Roy Kinna III
Something I always wanted to do. Best of luck!
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$109.44 paid!

mary spencer
We are proud of you no matter what! You're loved
$0.05 per mile
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$109.45 due

Tasha Sheehan
We'll be thinking of you every step of the way!
$0.03 per mile
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$65.67 due

Scott Nelson
Good luck, remember left, right, left, right ...
$0.05 per mile
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$109.45 due

Colter Bell
Always Beaver
$0.05 per mile
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$109.44 paid!

Erica Zamensky
I love your spirit of adventure! May your journey ROCK!
$0.05 per mile
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$109.44 paid!

chris shriver
hokie hokie hokie high
$0.10 per mile
up to $218.90

$218.90 due

Mike and Beth barg
Enjoy the views. Beth will be worried the entire trip,me too
$0.25 per mile
up to $547.25

$547.24 paid!

Katie Griffin
You can do it, Jase! Be safe!
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$109.44 paid!

nancy farischon
Good Luck Jason and be safe!
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$109.48 paid!

Clif Dayton
Great endeavor, go concur it! Will miss you this summer.
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$110.00 paid!

Craig Crockett
Make sure you are rocking your Hokie gear! Good Luck
$0.10 per mile
up to $218.90

$218.90 due

arnie barg
Jason, Bailey wants to go with you !
$0.05 per mile
up to $109.45

$109.45 due

Sean McLean
Kick its Ass SeaBass! I'll get you 4 boilermakers afterward
$0.04 per mile
up to $87.56

$87.56 paid!

alison mclean
Good luck, Bro. This is a very inspiring endeavor. You can!!
$0.10 per mile
up to $218.90

$218.90 paid!

Jason Barg
$0.01 per mile
up to $21.89

$50.00 paid!