Wednesday, March 9, 2011

On the Trail: A Note from Executive Director Lee Swislow

I can’t quite believe this is happening. I’m flying to Atlanta on Sunday, March 13 and will spend the night in the Hikers Hostel. On Monday, March 14, I will get a ride to the trail head, walk the mile up to the summit of Springer Mountain, Georgia, and then turn around and start walking to Mt. Katahdin, Maine—just about 2200 miles north.

I have been thinking about hiking the Appalachian Trail for over 40 years and first thought about 2011 as a possible date to go at least 6 years ago. This was before I started working at GLAD, so I thought I would be ready to leave my job by 2011.

Then I got the best job in the world as executive director of GLAD. As 2011 got closer, I knew I didn’t want to leave my job. But I also knew that I still wanted to make my dream come true—I wanted to hike the AT.

I am so lucky to work at such a great place. Both the GLAD Board and the GLAD staff have been incredibly supportive. I have a seven month leave of absence so that I can both hike the trail and come back to a job I love.

As much as I have read about hiking the AT and as much as I have tried to prepare, I don’t really know what the next few months will bring. I will be blogging regularly at, so if you are interested, you can follow this journey.

Life is full of twists and turns and ups and downs. Soon I will be experiencing that literally as well as figuratively. Wish me luck!

Lee Swislow
Executive Director


Bob Mason said...

We have a friend from Maryland who hiked the trail last year.

Sharon Santangelo said...

Good luck to you Lee.....have read much about the AT and thought about trying it myself one day. Perhaps after your adventure I will consider it again. Will check on your progress Be well