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High Point Regional Nurse Hikes Appalachian Trail

12/29/2008

His feet took approximately five million steps, crossed six national parks and touched 14 states. His eyes saw 10 bears and four rattlesnakes. More importantly, his heart felt a little “trail magic.”

High Point native and travel nurse at High Point Regional Health System, Nathan Adcock recently finished hiking the entire 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail in one trip, a colossal undertaking.

“My love for the great outdoors is a direct result of attending Western Carolina University,” said Adcock, ICU nurse. “I’m lucky enough to have a career that allows me to do two things that I’m passionate about, enjoy the outdoors and take care of people.”

A nurse since 2000, Adcock’s journey took five and a half months from start to finish. His journey began in Springer Mountain, Georgia and ended in Katahdin, Maine.

“It was a life changing experience that thousands of hikers attempt, but only one in four complete,” he said.

According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, approximately 2,000 hikers start at the same place that Adcock began his journey; however, many quit at the first town. That first town is 20 miles up the Trail.

Adcock admits that the hardest part of the trip was leaving his dog, family and friends behind. Once on the Appalachian Trial, new friends were quickly made. “There are a lot of interesting people on the trail,” he said. “I was able to spend time with nurses, lawyers, college professors and others who love the great outdoors as much as I do.”

This life changing experience has included an unexpected side effect. “There is no doubt that this journey has helped me become a better nurse,” said Adcock. “I have returned from the trail with a renewed spirit and commitment to serve those in need.”

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