7:15 AM EST// Start of the Appalachian Trail


I wrote this sitting under a sky turning to stars, feet propped up on a porch railing, swaying back and forth in an Adirondack chair, smack dab in the middle of nowhere, Georgia.

Here is the typed out version of the letter, which will hopefully be more legible than my IPA-fueled scrawl.


To those of you about to embark on a journey of a mile to a zillion miles along the AT:


Admittedly, I’ve never packed up my bags and hiked across large swaths of mountainous America, but I imagine COURAGE is something you, and everyone, will need whether scrambling over boulders or navigating pesky tree roots or maybe even fighting bouts of intermittent loneliness. 

I imagine you will need courage because all of us need it during some point in our lives.  And because all of us have the capacity to be courageous.


“Courage” comes from the French word for “heart”– le coeur.

In order to do anything– from waking up in the morning to deciding to hike thousands of miles of trails– you need to have a lot of things like water, air, food, shelter, fun dance songs.

But most of all, you need heart. 

You need courage.

And the crazy thing about being a human being is that all of us have hearts which means all of us have the great incredible capacity to face life with courage. 

All of us have the secret-not-so-secret superpower when the time comes to be COURAGEOUS simply because of the pitter-pattering of our hearts.

So whether you are facing a humungous bear or a tricky situation or a dark and dismal day, know that you have courage.

That courage lies within you– there, in your heart, always.

So bon courage encore and happy trails,

❤ Kat//The June Project




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