The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the AT, is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. It is approximately 2,181 miles long. The path is maintained by 30 trail clubs and multiple partnerships,and managed by the National Park Service and the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The majority of the trail is in wilderness, although some portions do traverse towns and roads, and cross rivers. The Appalachian Trail is famous for its many hikers, some of whom, called thru-hikers, attempt to hike it in its entirety in a single season. Along the way, the trail passes through the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
It was difficult to watch the parting of this group. They obviously shared an experience few have. None of them were ready for it to end. They looked like a band of homeless Mennonites. I truly enjoyed getting to spend their last time together with them.
Once he wakes up Ryan will take over the blog and provide some thoughts on the trip.
I will be adding the videos as soon as possible.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
I received a call from Ryan at 10:10 this morning from the peak of Mt Katahdin. He was exited and emotional. He summited with 6 other hikers. He only spoke for a moment and promised to call back when they got off the mountain. I’ll post his comments when he does.
Friday, September 30, 2011
It's hard to say if they will climb today or if they plan on waiting a day or two. The weather calls for rain until Tuesday. Based on Ryan's comments last week they may hang out aroud Baxter and soak it all in for a day or two. It was also important that they have a certain group together to make the climb together. While you would expect exhuberance over finishing the 2,181 miles there seems some sadness for it all being over. I would expect there have been some very strong friendships and bonds formed over a 6 month 2,200 adventure from Georgia to Maine. You have to wonder how the whole experience would change a person.
I'll post as soon as I hear from him again.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
As of last night they have about 80 miles to go. That should put them at Katahdin some time this coming weekend. Depending on weather they may get held at the park headquarters before being released for the climb.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
I just checked out your video, and i'm in total awe. In the moment, living one step at a time. love it. i have books about hiking the AT, but haven't mustered the guts to do it...yet. you are inspiring.
Peace and Love my friend,
The 100 Mile Wilderness is the northernmost section of the Appalachian Trail; the 2181 mile footpath running along the mountainous region of the Eastern seaboard from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin in Maine. Surrounded by more than 15 million acres of virtually inaccessible woodlands, this is also one of the most remote sections of trail in the entire United States. This is the land that time forgot; unspoiled, uninhabited and seldom traveled. This is a land of harsh contrasts; pleasing to behold, yet unforgiving to the ill-prepared. Make no mistake about it; this is nature in the raw. Treking across a rough and ragged footpath through an impenetrable forest of dense spruce, fragrant fir, mixed hardwoods and stately pines, the trail provides the traveler with a true Maine wilderness experience. Fording swift moving icy rivers, skirting pristine lakes and ponds, past narrow slate canyons flowing with cascading waters, thunderous waterfalls and deep pockets of emerald pools, the mind begins to wander as the miles slip by. Ascending high mountain ridges with far reaching panoramic views, the Appalachian Trail through Maines’ 100 Mile Wilderness is not only a journey of epic proportions, but a true test of ones own physical strengths and resolve. For many, this is a dream hike; a once in a lifetime experience that calms the soul within. This is a place of solitude and quiet contemplation; an opportunity to explore not only the vast wildlands, but the chance to look within ones own inner self. The 100 Mile Wilderness offers the visitor an outdoor experience rarely found elsewhere. Savor the natural beauty with each awe inspiring mile as you make your way along a path encountering but few, yet marveled by many. In many ways, your life will be changed; never the same. A new awakening to a world that once was and still is. This is Maines’ 100 Mile Wilderness.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Ryan called Saturday afternoon from Stratton, Maine. He had hiked into Stratton to resupply. They will return to the trail before dark. The cell connection was bad and he could only talk for a minute or two. They have run into snow, sleet and hail several times in the past two days. The tempertaure was down to 27 degrees Friday evening.
This afternoon he passed the 2,000 mile mark.
We quickly exchanged a list of supplies and a mail drop location for this Thursday. He's asked for his heavy boots, heavy socks, rain pants, and picture disks. He is down to one disk and can't send one home until he gets his others in the mail. He and hopefully his package will be in Monson Maine on Thursday.
He was in good spirits and continues to talk about making the most of what he has left.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
They had wild grouse and trout for dinner over an open fire. Best meal he has ever had. From here on out no motels, hostels, or inside camping. He said it is as wild as you can get.
They are now figuring an Oct 4 finish date.
While the first part of Maine was the roughest he's seen, this section has been very enjoyable hiking. The climbs are gentle and the trail is soft and easy on the body.
As anxious as everyone was to make it this far they are all less anxious to see it end. He said they will make the most of every mile and miss nothing.
Friday, September 9, 2011
The first 50 miles of Maine are the hardest miles of the trail. This is the section of trail he has hiked over 1900 miles to experience. Yesterday he passed through Mahoosuc Notch which is the hardest mile of the hardest section. It has been raining for the last 3 days and is forecast to continue through the weekend. The weather is cold. The trail is wet and slippery. He claims to be in heaven. His enthusiasm and excitement is very high. You can hear it in his voice and his struggle for the right words to describe his surroundings. He said the only description he could come up with is “awesome” but he’s worn that one out. Apparently the woods of Maine are somewhere beyond awesome. He said he couldn’t explain it and you couldn’t imagine it if he could. Grand ideas often lose their luster when the reality sets in. Talking to Ryan today it became crystal clear that his reality is at least as good if not better than the idea. He has not only conquered a significant portion of the idea, he has turned it into the realization of a dream. He has not hesitated or backed down since announcing the trip. He has never mentioned quit and listening to him I am confident it has not entered his mind. The trail is simply a matter of will. He demonstrated to himself his own power over his will.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
He said the hike up Mount Washington was perfect. There are less than 30 days a year that the fog and weather do not diminish the view from the top and he was there for one. The hike was enjoyable but difficult. He said it was a little like walking through a rock quarry. He is anxious to get his photo card home to share the experience. He saw his first moose on the descent. They hiked back off the trail to get water and ran into her. Unfortunately, he did not have his camera but Kipper did and got plenty of pictures.
The weather is getting much colder with every day of hiking. He said it has been a perfect week with daytime in the 60’s and night temps in the 40’s. Unfortunately, their first week in Maine is forecast for rain most of the week. Based upon Sunday’s GPS they should be entering Maine sometime today.
Barring any major setbacks he is still estimating a September 30 arrival at Baxter State Park. He admitted that the 20+ mile days are over. The trials here are rough, rocky, and wind considerable due to rapid elevation changes. A good day is around 12 miles. The Maine / New Hampshire border is exactly 1,900 miles from Springer. He has less than 300 miles to go. In three days, he will be on the trail for 5 months.
Friday, September 2, 2011
There are 3 new picture and video links in the right column. The last is pictures from 8/16 through 8/28. These are from Vermont into New Hampshire and run right up to the closing of the park for the hurricane. The other two links contain videos he shot on the trail. They are definitely worth watching.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
I received a picture disk from Ryan today with 500 pictures and 7 videos. These should be on the site Friday.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
They were working through their options. They can wait it out. They could go north and hike southbound back into the Whites. Ryan is committed to finish the trail as a northbound hiker. The next few days will drive that decision. One thing they were all sure of was that they would have to check out of the hotel today. While the trail may seem like a free and unencumbered adventure the cost for a through hike averages around $5,000. Everyone is getting tight on their finances. Motels are not part of the budget.
He’s still very upbeat and talked about how hard it is to “relax”. The down time is nice from a healing up perspective but he said they all feel like trapped animals. After six month outdoors, anything over a night indoors loses its novelty quickly. The weather is supposed to be sunny and in the high 60’s over the next week so they are anxious to get back in the woods.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
He said the absolute priority now is to protect the dream of finishing the 2,181 miles of the Appalachian trail.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Ryan called Wednesday evening. He has a new phone and is getting good reception. They should be breaking 1700 miles some time today. They have under 500 miles to go and expect to finish the last week of September. Ryan said he'd keep in touch as much as possible and send updates for the blog.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
We're immediately trying to get another drop set up for Hanover, New Hampshire. He's in summer weight clothes and sleeping gear. He wants his sleeping bag and some warmer clothes ASAP. They were taken by surprise by the rapid drop in temperatures in Vermont. For the past two weeks he's headed almost due north. Right now they are about level with Upper Michigan so the temps will continue to drop. The average temperatures in Vermont is still fairly high but there can be wild swings due to storms and the altitude through the White Mountains. Nighttimes temps under freezing is not uncommon. I checked yesterday and the temperature on Mount Washington was a low in the 30's with 85 mile per hour winds. He's still a few weeks out from here but will be near this elevation several times in the coming weeks.
He's been using a "pay as you go" ATT phone. Looking at the coverage map he will start to completely lose service by the first of next week. There appears to be some 3G coverage through N.H. and Maine. We're going to try to get his Iphone hooked back up so he will have some sort of phone service in the coming month. He has his Iphone with him but is mainly using it as an Ipod.
As long as he gets his package in Wallingford he'll be fine. I should know by Saturday afternoon. He told me Monday he was carrying enough food to get him into this coming weekend. I'll post as soon as I find out.
He sounded in good spirits and was really enjoying Vermont. He's never excited about hiking with a specific time agenda but making it into Wallingford is critical.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
He is fine and stomping through the woods somewhere in Southern Vermont. Hopefully, he will send home some pictures on Friday.
Friday, August 5, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Sunday, July 31, 2011
He said much of the real hot weather has moved out of the area. He plans to walk 6 days per week and may end up taking a down day near Pawling depending on how nice campsites are aroud Pawling. He said his pace has quickened to the point where he's often coverd 20 mile by just after lunch. The tendancy is to push forward but time on the trail has taught him to set realistic goals and stick with them. Saving his feet and not risking injury has beome the priority. He's averaged over 20 miles for the past four days. He should be in Connecticut by Sunday evening. He bought his fourth pair of shoes in NY. The rough trails in PA and NJ went through a pair of shoes in a little over 300 miles.
He sent a picture disk home from Pawling. These should be on the blog by mid week.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Ryan took a train out of New York early this morning and is back on the trail today. Monday morning he was interviewed by a reporter from the Clermont Sun. I emailed her some pictures this afternoon for an article that will be in this Thursday's Clermont Sun Newpaper. I talked to Ryan a couple of times while he was in New York and he was anxious to get back on the trail.
He is now officially in New England. He has a little under 800 miles to Mount Katahdin. This will be the most challenging part of the trail. He will enter the longest stretches of wilderness, the highest mountains, the most significant change in scenery, and hike for the first time above tree line. He was really pumped up about it. His plan is to be at Baxter State Park in Maine by the end of September.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Almost 1,400 miles behind me. 1,400 miles, that doesn’t even seem possible. It feels like I’m talking about someone else. I get these frequent rushes of just how much I enjoy this. I learn something new every day about myself. I’ve gained a different perspective of who I am, why I am, and what life is about. The woods tend to take on an alien feel at times but less and less every day. The woods are where I sleep. They are where I eat, spend my day, and think. I appreciate a soft spot of ground to set up a tent. I appreciate the natural placement of a stump for sitting. I appreciate the convenient scattering of dead wood for a fire. It’s the little things out here and it’s the appreciation of the little things that makes the woods home.
There are new pictures in the right column. These are the balance of pictures from Harper's Ferry and the trip throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania and into New Jersey. There are several rattlesnake and bear encounters. Ryan shot a movie of a bear and her cubs and we're working to get this on the blog ASAP. He saw 5 bears, 5 rattlesnakes, and a copperhead on this leg.
There are pictures of the ice cream challenge at Pine Grove and lots of rock scrambles. It hard to fully understand the rock scrambles until you see the pictures. Note in many of the rocky pictures that the white trail blazes go right up over the rocks.
Ryan also sent some journal entries and these will go on in the next couple of days. He is currently in Brooklyn visiting Matt Oliver for a couple of days. When I talked to him on Sunday he was web surfing pictures of the trail in New England. He said he's really enjoying a day of street clothes and AC but is anxious to get back out on the trail. He's meeting back up with his buddies on Tuesday morning to take a train out to the trail head.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I should have a new film disk and pictures posted by the weeked.