Monday, July 5, 2010

My America

Written by: Katherine 'Ringleader' Imp

I have seen more of America in the last 4 months than I have in the last 24 years.

I've always loved traveling, but when you're young, places like Rome and Paris sound far more appealing than Bennington, VT or Dalton, MA. So those are the places I went. And now I'm 24 and I've seen very little of the country I've spent my entire life in.

For some people, the Appalachian Trail is place of solitude, a place to become one with nature. I wanted my experience with the trail to be more than that. I wanted to see America.

When you only have 2 weeks of vacation time in a given year, as many Americans do, most will choose to spend those 2 weeks on a beach, in a national park, or in some foreign country. Why? Because these places are welcoming, relaxing, and exotic ... and when you've only got 2 weeks of freedom ... these are the exact characteristics many Americans look for.

I live in a bubble. I know I do, and I don't pretend otherwise. It's a bubble filled with lawyers and city dwellers. And starting in August, I will join the rest of America that lives on 2 weeks of vacation a year. It is this thought that has kept my adventurous spirit going for the last 4 months. I came out here to get in touch with my country, and with the people that live in it. And that's exactly what the Traveling Circus has done.

In the last few weeks, we've worked on an organic farm, wandered the streets of NYC, and stayed in the homes of beautiful Americans living in Bennington, VT and Dalton, MA. We've also trekked over numerous mountain tops and saw the natural beauty that Connecticut and Massachusetts has to offer.

Europe is beautiful. As is Cancun. But America is also a place enriched with interesting people, beautiful towns, and breathtaking mountains. What an amazing place to live.


  1.'s good to hear you are appreciating the AT and all it has to offer. I've been patiently waiting for you to finally SEE the country you're in and ENJOY the people you meet as well as other hikers. I must ask though, you can't have forgotten the Badlands, Wall Drugs and the Corn Palace, riding a llama, California's National Parks, Alaska, the sights and sounds of Illinois and Michigan, most of the east coast...and all the towns we stopped in on the way to Disney World? We took some great trips. I know you agree.

    I've always said that it's what you experienced during your trips that matter. Anyone can say they've been to Rome. But, did they walk through the Colosseum, spend time in the shops, see entertainment in the piazza's, try real Italian cuisine, learn about the culture, talk to people? Yep, you know what I'm saying because you're there. With 4 more weeks on the trail to go...grab onto every detail you can and then sit back and enjoy the memories. Love, Mom

  2. Very thoughtful post. I hope you can keep hiking for years to come even if you get sucked into a real job :)