One of the absolute truths of a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail is that it is not recreation. It’s a job, filled with repetitive tasks. Find and purify water. Fix meals. Determine how far the feet and knees can handle. Plan town stops. Put up and take down tent. Roll out sleeping bags. Inflate and […]
Not Quite Thru: Appalachian Trail 2012
In which JK & Navigator attempt a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in 2012, the 75th anniversary of the Appalachian Trail.
What’s it like hiking the AT as a couple? After years and miles being individual hikers, it’s what Sandy and I are learning. Living out of only two backpacks requires more team work, much more than just your everyday living. At home there’s a kitchen, with things like a stove, microwave and fridge. If the […]
When you’re on foot, it’s a little strange to be walking up an Interstate ramp. This was our first interstate crossing on the AT, under I-40. Many more to come.
After five weeks on the trail, Sandy and I still snuggled together in our enormous Big Agnes sleeping bag every night, recapping the events of the day and laughing out loud at our own mishaps and the antics of our fellow hikers. With worn muscles and sore knees, we are thankful for the miles behind […]
After arriving cold and wet at Icewater Springs Shelter to watch it rain, rain, rain the rest of the day, we awoke to this amazing vista from the shelter: looking down on the clouds with mountaintops rising through them.
Standing in the historic museum in downtown Palmerton, discussing zinc mining with the volunteer whose family had deep roots in the area, I thought I saw a ghost, a reflection in the front window. “It’s August!” John said, and I realized the apparition was a thru-hiker we’d met in Duncannon and several times thereafter. I […]
As seen in Dahlonega, here we are at the kickoff event for thru-hiker season. We were fortunate to share table space with Gene Espy, the second man ever to thru-hike the entire Appalachian Trail. He did it in 1951. A great sendoff!
As we left Tray Mountain, the skies settled into a permanent overcast that permeated the day. It felt like drizzle but didn’t, the skies heavy about leafless trees. Climbing the long ascent to Kelly Knob, a new perspective lay before us: the colors of the Blue Ridge. In that moment, I understood the artist’s palette […]
It’s Friday night in Erwin, Tennessee and we and Plodder are setting up our tents on the lawn of town hall. “We’re Occupy Erwin!” we joke. An antique car cruise is going on a couple of blocks away. Inside town hall, Miss Janet is readying an “AT Film Fest” to help connect the two communities […]
By the time we reached the Mountaineer Falls Shelter I was drenched in sweat. Sitting on the bench I left a puddle. I was beat and my spirits were low. As Paul went to find two trees for his hammock, I went in search of a flat place for our tent. Sandy had noticed the […]