Meet our Dirty Dozen—12 of this year’s Appalachian Trail thru-hikers—hoping to complete a 2,195 mile journey this summer.

Joseph Robinson

Trail name: General Hendrix

Home: Jekyll Island, Ga.

Age: 24

“I’m learning, in a sense, off the grid. It’s let me get more in touch with my personal side. I feel like every day, ever since I’ve gotten out here on the trail, I’ve gotten stronger. My spirit has just excelled. It’s really one of those things, you have to let go of something in order to achieve something else. I gave up my condo that I had on Jekyll, I sold my Volvo, and I left a lot of good people. But this is my shamanic journey to finally get in tune with myself. Being outdoors is my element. I don’t like the cities. I don’t like heavily populated areas. I just like to live. I’m not really looking for anything in particular because I know Mother Nature’s got my back. I’m in existence right now, just living. The older you do get, the more they’re going to try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep living.”