My name is Katelyn Barok, but in the hiking world people call me “Rogue.” I am born and raised in New Jersey. I spent a lot of my free time climbing trees, jumping creeks, and building forts in the woods. At a young age, I developed a love for the outdoors. My family vacations consisted of car camping, canoeing ,kayaking, hiking, fishing, biking, turtle catching, and sleeping in tents. We did this mostly at Parvin State Park and Worthington State Forest. I graduated from Rutgers University in 2016 with a degree in Childhood Studies, a teaching certificate, and a minor in psychology.
Since I was in high school, I have been wanting to hike the Appalachian Trail. I asked my dad if he would do it with and he started to buy gear. At some point, the pursuit of a college degree was the main goal and getting a teaching job followed that. However, hiking has been a constant passion for my going on two trips to Acadia National Park and Shenandoah National Park. The desire to hike the trail never went away. I waited for my dad, friend, or significant other to share the same dream as mine. My dad and I hiked differently. None of my friends were interested. No significant other with the same idea came to fruition. I never thought to do it alone as I had entirely too many fears.
Last May/June 2018, a friend of mine, Lex Banner, gave me a daily devotional titled
100 Days to Brave: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self.
After beginning to read the book daily, I felt called to face one of my greatest fears and hike the Appalachian Trail alone. And so the Journey officially began July 2018. I hike on extended weekends, Winter Break, Spring Breaks, and summer breaks.