By Rick Wells, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Brad Johnson, owner of Lawn America, is going to begin something later this week that many people start, but few people finish.
Johnson will begin a hike of more than 2,000 miles along the Appalachian Trail. By the time he finishes on October 1, he hopes to raise thousands of dollars for Tulsa charities.
On Tuesday, Johnson was up on Turkey Mountain with his 35 pound pack for one last tune up before taking on the Appalachian Trail.
"I've put in about 1,000 hours of preparation," said Johnson.
He has read 15 books on the trail and put in hundreds of miles of hiking on Turkey Mountain and on other trails, preparing for 2,176 miles -- one foot in front of the other for 125 days.
"I'll be cryin' for momma probably by the second week," Johnson said.
Johnson knows it will be perhaps the hardest thing he has ever done, but he's looking forward to the challenge of completing something most people who start never finish. Why? One day last summer he asked himself what he'd do if he could just drop everything and do it.
"...immediately it was hike the Appalachian Trail," said Johnson.
The trail starts in the mountains north of Atlanta and ends on a mountain top in northern Maine. He'll be walking through parts of 14 states. He plans on wearing hats from the different universities, first Georgia, then North Carolina and Tennessee.
"Some days I'll be in North Carolina, some days Tennessee, then I'll bounce back to North Carolina," said Johnson.
It will be grueling, and in some parts dangerous, but he's got some extra incentive to keep moving. He's raising money for favorite Tulsa area charities. $100,000 is the goal.
"Somewhere along the trail we'll exceed that $100,000 goal. That's what we're banking on," Johnson said.
Why now? He says, why not now?
"We are not guaranteed another day, so I'm gonna do it while I physically can," said Johnson.
Do it for himself and for others.
If you'd like to follow along, or even make a contribution, you can do it on a website created to track Brad Johnson along the trail.