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Lake Charles woman hiking the Appalachian Trail

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 6:53 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - We all have goals we set to complete, but sometimes it starts with just one step.

A Lake Charles woman took that first step several months ago as she trained to hike the Appalachian Trail.

“It extends from the Southern Terminus and Springer Mountain, Georgia, all the way to Mount Katahdin in Maine,” said Tarin Whited.

A trail that is roughly 2,190 miles long, to put that into perspective, it’s like driving from Lake Charles to Baton Rouge about 17 times.

“March 29 was my first day on the trail,” she said.

And it’s where you can find Tarin Whited.

“I love hiking and camping, like I always kind of have,” she said. “When I heard about the trail, it was something that in the back of my mind, I’ve always wanted to do, but I kind of was like, oh man, I don’t know if I can walk 2200 miles.”

Flash forward to July — she’s 1,125 miles in.

“It makes me feel great, I feel empowered, and I feel like a very independent woman.”

I did ask her if there had been a moment she thought she couldn’t do it.

“I’ve had a couple of moments like that, it’s mainly when my body starts hurting, I want to say around mile 800, my feet had been killing me for about 200 miles before that, and I’m still just getting them better,” she said. I thought to myself, I don’t know how I can do this if I feel like I have to take a break every two miles.”

But even in those hardest moments, she says, her family has kept her pushing on.

“When I get a chance to video chat with them and talk to them on the phone, it helps me keep going because I know that this isn’t gonna last forever.”

A lesson in her journey?

“If there’s anything you want to do, don’t let it hold you back,” she said. “If you want to go to school for something, go to school for something, you want to walk across the country, walk across the country.”

And she also had this message for her family and friends.

“I miss you guys, and I can’t wait to see you,” she said. “And please Chad or mom and dad send me more crawfish boil seasoning.”

And that piece of Lake Charles she carries with her?

She’s got a necklace made with a piece of glass from the Capital One Tower.

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