Aislinn gives an interesting perspective about backpacking solo.
Pleuvi’s attitude is characteristic of those who reach Katahdin! There is no quality more crucial to the success of an Appalachian Trail journey than this.
There’s always a silver lining, and a shot at living up to your dreams. Sometimes we can get lonely and our dreams turn into other people’s dreams. Where’s this going? I started this journey knowing I wanted to solo hike. It brings me joy to enjoy the little things and sometimes people can’t see past thru hiking as a sport or competition, when it’s a spiritual awareness journey. You pull out lonely parts of you and find happiness with yourself. I love meeting new hikers. It’s mostly fun except for the few stuck up snobs who are hiking for the wrong reasons. I hike because it helps me think and get out sadness. I’m not always perfect in my hike but I cry tears of joy when I get to a tall beautiful mountain. It’s emotional and self aware to take in the beauty. I’ve had the most unfortunate run…
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For the beginner, or someone considering the possibility of an Appalachian Trail hike, Linda offers up a superb digest of that could be in store, should you choose to tackle the AT.
In short, the Appalachian Trail is 2190 miles of trail through 14 states (verses 3 states for the PCT). Backing up a bit to before when Lauren left for her journey, here is some information about the Appalachian Trail courtesy of Wikipedia.I have thrown in some pictures of information I found interesting about the trail in between the different state breakdowns of the trail. The scenic pictures are not necessarily representing the area mentioned. They are representative of the different terrain Lauren will experience throughout the trail.
The trail is currently protected along more than 99% of its course by federal or state ownership of the land or by right-of-way. The trail is maintained by a variety of citizen organizations, environmental advocacy groups, governmental agencies and individuals. Annually, more than 4,000 volunteers contribute over 175,000 hours of effort on the Appalachian Trail, an effort coordinated largely by the…
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Time was the “start date” for an Appalachian Thru-Hike was April 1. No more! Some are already hoofing it to Maine…
They’re out there. They’re getting ready. Some of them will set out from Springer Mountain before snow has left the ground. They’re the ones I like to call “the early crew,” getting out the door and down the trail before the annual army of thru-hikers has departed.
April 1st is the traditional “start day” for most thru-hikers. Plenty of time to get to Maine, lots of time to admire the view. But in recent years a small herd has chosen to take to the Appalachian Trail for their thru-hike beginning in March or even February. I’ve yet to hear of a backpacker out in January, but that day will likely dawn.
Heads up from a Southerner. I can, does and will snow on the AT during February-March. Be under no illusion that somehow just because it’s “down South” that spring flowers will be in bloom…
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And the best of trails to Wayne, who has begun his own Appalachian Trail sojourn!
And so it begins. There are only 2,189 miles to go now. Joe Gavalda, Pamela Hembree, and Jan Haney have joined me for the first 9.5 miles up some of the steepest elevation of the trail.
We drove to the top of Springer Mountain where we waited several hours for our shuttle driver. Sadly he was running late because his previous customers were late at the Atlanta Airport due to snow in the Northeast.
When he finally arrived it was a race back to the State Park in order to allow me to actually register. When we got there the door was locked. Mercy was the order of the day though as a Park Ranger allowed me to crash the door and register. I’m the 179th joker to register for the actual hike.
The four of us managed to climb the 600 steps ( with a few stops) Well more…
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I call it the “Deliverance Syndrome.” The first thru-hiker I met said, “What about the snakes, bears, and hillbillies?” My response was similar to the one Stubbs gives, only not so eloquent.
So you’re going to hike the Appalachian Trail and now that you’ve gotten all your plans in order, you’ve decided it’s time to tell Mom, Dad, your siblings, your Aunts and Uncles, you dog, your cat, all of your closest friends and your co-workers (after you first inform your boss, of course). You’re so thrilled about the journey that’s about to unfold, and maybe everyone else is happy for you too. However, it’s more likely you were met with:
“You’re CHOOSING to live outside for HOW long?”
“What about the bears?”
“Haven’t you ever seen ‘Deliverance’?”
“Shouldn’t you take a gun with you?”
“What if you get bit by a poisonous snake?”
“I could never do that. Too many bugs. What if you get lyme disease?”
When this is the dialog you’re met with, it’s easy to start wondering, “Maybe I am crazy. Maybe this is a really bad idea…
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The annual A.T. “herd” begins to move! Thanks to David Rough for the update.
I am tracking nine thru-hikers on the trail right now with at least four more to join them before the month of over. One, Genesis, started in West Virginia and is hiking north through Pennsylvania. He posts sporadically and as of February 18th, he had hiked about 79 miles. To help give you a visual on the journeys of the rest of the gang, I constructed the following table. The first column is an indicator of the first 200 miles of the AT. The second column is the miles hiked by a particular thru-hiker; the third is the name of the hiker; the fourth is the destination of each hiker on February 22; the last column is the date that each hiker began his adventure. (The last post by Hard Knocks was made on February 20 so he is, most likely, pushing his way through the Smoky Mountains…
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