It’s the time of year when I have travel on the brain. If I’m not heading somewhere, I’m thinking about it. So we decided to spend the summer asking some of our favorite creative people to share the stories of their travel adventures. That way, even if you’re not traveling, you can be reading about it.
A couple of years ago, graphic designer and letterpress printer Macon York took a break from creating wedding invitations, stationery and cards to fulfill a dream that started when she was ten years old – to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. When she was fifteen, Macon hiked a 50-mile section of the trail with a summer camp program, which only further cemented her resolve, and she promised herself that she would hike the entire trail before she turned 30. Serious planning began when she turned 26; she read trail memoirs, attended an informative workshop, saved money and researched gear. Then on March 20, 2012, she began the trail with a good friend, but when an old knee injury flared up on the third day, the friend had to call it quits and Macon continued the long journey on her own.
She was completely alone for about a week and then met a fun group of guys and began immersing herself into the trail community. (She was even given a trail name – “Daystar” – for her constant commentary on her love of light: morning light, evening light and the way that the light would shine through the trees.) She would frequently hike solo during the day and then meet up with her friends at campsites in the evening. A little more than six months after beginning the trail, Macon finished on September 25 at age 27. (You can read the story of her adventure here.) -Amy
Design*Sponge: What was your most memorable moment?
Macon: “One mile before the reaching the summit of Mt. Katahdin (the northern terminus), it struck me that I was about to successfully complete this epic journey. I reflected on all that I had endured on the 2,000+ mile hike across the country: intimately watching the seasons change, truly living outside for six months, realizing the perseverance and physical strength that I did not know I had, and cherishing the beautiful relationships I had formed. While I had countless memorable moments during the entire trek, the final mile stands out the most because of all it represented.”
Do you see the effect of this trip in your work?
“I see the effect of this trip more in the big picture of running a business. Starting a small creative business (without any business background) frequently feels like a wild adventure that requires strength, perseverance and endurance. Living in the woods for six months gave me the opportunity to feel more connected to the natural world than I ever had before. It clarified my own calling as an artist/maker and to be present, both in my work and in how I live. More specifically, I am continuing to cultivate my own style and bringing more hand-drawn, natural images into my work.”