Category Archives: Appalachian Trail

You get a different life

“When you put a drop of red dye into a glass of water, you do not get a glass of water with a drop of red dye in it; you get a red glass of water.” Uh, OK, so what’s that got to do with hiking the Appalachian Trail? Read and find out!

Write in Front of Me

Photo courtesy amish.patel at Flickr Photo courtesy amish.patel at Flickr

I recently ran my eye over this comment: “Neil Postman has an analogy along the lines of what you’re saying about giving forethought to your use of a new technology: ‘When you put a drop of red dye into a glass of water, you do not get a glass of water with a drop of red dye in it; you get a red glass of water…’”

Nowadays, we’re disposed to leap on anything “new” like a jaguar on a capybara.  Why do we do this?  Why do we glom onto the latest thing without considering the consequences to our lives?  All of us are trying to employ some command over our lives and we do this by making what we believe are wise decisions.  Yet the truth is that we are swamped with tidal waves of options, more than we can manage.  It seems to…

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Filed under Adventure, Appalachian Trail, Apprehension, Backpacking, Hiking, Life changes, Life direction, Living, outdoors, risk

The persistence of Gimli and the Appalachian Trail

I still hold to the answer, whenever I’m asked, as to what “one thing” gets you to Katahdin more than anything else. One thing — one word — PERSISTENCE! Thus, we revisit the spirit of Gimli this Flashback Friday.

Write in Front of Me

Perhaps Gimli personifies the endurance it takes to hike the A.T.  For sure, he is uncomfortable, way past a long rest.  Yet he seems up for the game, and presses on.  Chasing orcs will take you out of long pursuits; after all, they’re Saruman‘s creations – mindless, heedless of discomfort, meant for speed and killing.  Humans, not so much.  Granted, Aragorn and Legolasare faring better and they also keep going, regardless of pain.  Because they’re focused and committed.  And, yes, the lives of the hobbits are at stake.  When hiking long distances, it’s likely the safety of friends or family is not in the balance, and Katahdin is not Mordor.  But you want to get there.  That’s why you set out – to get there and back again.  So the key is to accept the physical pain.  But don’t be reckless about it.  Don’t ignore blisters and aching…

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Filed under Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, challenge, Decision making, Hiking, outdoors, Persistence, Walking

Dear Gear


Photo courtesy Thruhike98 at Flickr.

Dear Hiking Gear,

First off, I am sorry.  Sorry that you’ve been stowed away in boxes on the upper shelf of my dark closet.  I am sorry I separated you into “gear I normally use” and “spare gear” whose box lid I rarely open.

For instance.  I love my Whisperlite white gas backpacking stove.  But, I also like my Svea 123, the old brass workhorse whose coarse and noisy voice was a welcome wake-up on many memorable mornings.

Dear Whisperlite, I love you for your quiet voice.  But, Svea, I respect you for your simplicity and reliability.  Just because I boxed you doesn’t mean I don’t care.  Don’t you remember when we walked down memory lane and I polished you with Brasso last summer?  I know — I didn’t light you up, so the shine job doesn’t really count.  But I still know you’re there; ready to rock should the Whisperlite fail…


Photo courtesy kc7fys at Flickr.

Yes, dear gear — I’ll still keep you.  And if you doubt that, remember the old Kelty Tioga pack frame.  You know the one.  The pack bag is long gone, but I can’t part with the hardy aluminum skeleton.  Sure, I’ll never find a replacement for the pack bag, but I’ve kept the frame safe and sound.  Along with the Sierra tent, First Need water filter, and Svea stove.


Photo courtesy Simonov at Flickr.

Take heart, dear gear.  Maybe we’ll all have a class reunion one day.  And, yes, expect to see a Spork, some titanium cooking gear, and an ultralight backpack on the guest list.

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Filed under A.T., Adventure, Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, Backpacking gear, Camping, Hiking, outdoor gear, Travel

23 Ways Hiking Makes You Healthier

Think hiking and backpacking is just a slog? You’ll have a different opinion when you finish reading the many ways hiking makes you healthier (courtesy of The Wandering Itinerant)


Making hiking a regular habit has got many health benefits. It helps to manage your weight in the right ratio or even at times helps to lose your extra pounds. Even one hour of a hike would help you burn around 400 – 500 calories approximately. Weight loss results seem to be greater if you are hiking on a higher inclined terrain. Certainly, there are certain factors which you should consider while you prepare yourself for hiking in the forest. For instance, make sure that you carry with you enough water for staying hydrated all through your journey.

Hiking is a natural stress reliever. The major positive side of hiking is that it gives you many options to choose from regarding the location. Picking a spot which is serene and calm will help you to lift up your spirits and stay away from the daily stress. There are many studies…

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Thinking about…risks of hiking the Appalachian Trail

Sunday, April 1st, is the “traditional start date” for those backpacking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Though times have changed, and many have already set out toward Katahdin, it felt nostalgically appropriate to mark flashback Friday with this archival post. Enjoy! And be safe out there!

Write in Front of Me

English: Two campers with gear hiking through ... English: Two campers with gear hiking through Bear Mountain State Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I stumbled out of the woods at Bear Mountain State Park in New York.  I was parched and exhausted.  The spring some miles back was dry and my complete attention was fixed on the first thing I saw – a water fountain!  Disregarding two people I lurched forward and spent what seemed like five minutes gurgling, slopping, and slurping enough water to distend my belly.  Finally sated, I stopped, wiped my brow, and shed my backpack.  I looked at the two people I had until now ignored.

The man looked precisely like novelist Tom Wolfe.  He was dressed like Tom Wolfe.  Completely in white.  White hat.  White shirt and white jacket.  White slacks.  White – patent-leather shoes!  Beside him sat his lady-friend.  She, too, was in bridal white, right down to the bleached handkerchief…

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park & Appalachian Trail

No matter the season, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a fun outdoor getaway!

Fulbright PhD Adventures in Gatorland

Great Smoky Mountains

Wooden Cabin

Deep Creek Loop Trail & Indian Creek

Oconaluftee River Trail, Cherokee, NC

Appalachian Trail, Fontana Dam and Lake

North Carolina / Tennessee State Line,
Newfound Gap Comfort Station, Appalachian Trail, US441 S

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March 14, 2018 · 6:51 pm

The risks and rewards of hiking solo as a woman

Aislinn gives an interesting perspective about backpacking solo.Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 11.21.26 AM

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Filed under Achievements, Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, challenge, coffee, Courage, Hiking, risk, Walking, wilderness