When did this A.T. notion get hatched? Not sure I know the answer to this question. It’s easy for some, I’m sure to think, “oh this is a reaction to Aaron, his 1st born, dying last July. But I was planning to go on this trip two summers ago. We were even going to do part of the trail, I hoped, together. but work got in the way. However it is true I am hoping for a cleansing, a purging of sorts as I push myself, as I find myself alone, as I clear my head and body of most everything.

I remember first thinking about the AT after my first deployment. The SEALs issued me some really cool gear when I deployed to Afghanistan with them. And there was a The North Face outlet out there, (yea, crazy right?) where I bought Lori a backpack. So when I got back to good ole Duncannon, PA,  our home town which happens to be in the middle of the trail, we backpacked for a few days and I met with a thru hiker who put the idea into my head. We finally got to use the 2 man tent we bought before we had kids, 20 years before. We only used it once when our active 1 year old and Irish Setter had better ideas and another time when I slept in the back yard with our 4 year old daughter before we moved to Indiana.   .  Maybe this quest was started when I was given the job as a 22 year old to take a group of kids backpacking across the western states. I didn’t even know how to put a pack on. Thank goodness for my wife who knew what to do, and kept me on the right path.  Or maybe it was before that. I remember camping with my church group as a six grader, I got up early one morning came out of the tent and found a deer in our site, just staring at me. I was probably hooked at that point.

Could it have been the California Trip? That momentous occasion when 5 Davidson kids and their parents got into the 62 Chevy wagon and went camping for the 1st and only time. Camping across the entire country for a month. My mother got her driver’s license the day before. The rented apache camper in tow that one time separated from the hitch and car. We had a bat inside of that camper. We even had a near miss with a tornado inside that little camper.  Maybe I fell in love with the idea that  I could put all of my clothes inside of a Girl Scout cookie box (the box that held all the individual boxes) and all of my money in side a metal band aid box. All I needed was a  was a cowboy hat  I still have the Coleman stove and lantern from that epic journey. It seems that all of life can be traced back to the California trip.

Humm, wonder where that cowboy hat got to?



  1. Well, if you need a new cowboy hat you can always have one of mine. And no, I don’t mean one of the blue and silver star variety. So, do you wish hiker’s good luck? Or is it like the arts and you wish harm? I’ll just go with both. Best of luck breaking or avoiding broken legs in ditches.

    All kidding aside, Keep pushing. I’ve no doubt your immense will and strength of character shall carry you through this challenge and onto your next great adventure. I look forward to following your journey (inside and out)and I expect a fully rehearsed, if not, theatrically embellished rendition over Fourth of July holiday! Wishing you the best and praying all warm and toasty vibes towards you (From my warm and toasty apartment).
    All Love

    Your Inspired Nephew,


      1. A friend of mine taped a presentation I did back in the Fall and recently edited it so I could post it on After going to the website, just search for Andy Davidson thru hiking thru life and you should get the 3 parts. The total presentation lasts about an hour. Hopefully it will make you laugh and think. Since I last wrote, I have to say I really miss the trail and miss conversing with y’all even more. I’ve been working on another project which I hope to announce in the near future. Until then I have dreams of jumping in the truck with Lor and Belle (our Springer Spaniel) and back packing out West this summer. (Just don’t tell my employer).

        Take care, “Phantom”

        I can’t thank you enough for all the support. Feel free to spread the workd and I apologize to some of you who may be getting this notice as a repeat.


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