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im gonna do it!!!

Posted by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 3:00 AM
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Yup, I'm gonna hike the AT. Not the whole thing, that will have to wait until the kids are grown. But I'm going to hike some of it. Dunno when, I have no gear, and can't afford it right now. But I will. Hopefully in the next 2-3 years.

I grew up camping with my family numerous times throughout the year every year. Mom would drag me on hikes with her. I loathed them. We'd each carry a bag of water and snacks, hike a couple miles, then turn around and go back. Boring, and we would only stop to drink water. No looking at anything, no stopping to examine that weird fungus, or look at critter tracks. Dad on the other hand, was great, we'd walk maybe a mile, and we were constantly stopping to look at something. He'd teach us to recognize tracks, scat, flora, fauna, how the different rocks formed, how native Americans used different things, share stories of when he was a kid. To me, that was a great hike. No worrying about mileage, no going superfast, just being out in nature.

Now, I've decided to do the AT. Just pack some essentials, some food, water, and go. Just be out on the trail. Not worry about miles. Just pack it up, complain about my aching feet, and enjoy the beauty. Growing up in the desert, I've learned to love the beauty of the woods, the wildlife, probably because I never really experienced the forest until I moved to GA.

I'm psyched. I hope to begin buying some gear next year, trying it out on overnight trips, and eventually, getting back out east, ready for the trail.
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by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 3:00 AM
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mapleleafwoman
by Group Owner on Sep. 14, 2011 at 8:28 AM

Start reading books about the trail.  I read this one but there are many others:

Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods (1999) doesn't describe a complete through-hike, but he and his companion Katz made it through about 800 miles or so of trail, mostly in the southern states. I found the book to be laugh-out-loud funny, though the text is leavened considerably with tales of outrageous crimes against people and the environment. Let's just say that he has a healthy - no, make that grossly distorted - fear of bears, snakes, and noises in the night, and his descriptions of the real and imagined hazards he encounters on his travels, along with plenty of "interesting" people, makes this an enjoyable and engrossing read.


This site    Appalachian Trail Books    reviews a number of books including this one that looks like it might be interesting and informative.

A Woman's Journey (1982) is the story of Cindy Ross' journey from Georgia to Maine, a trip that she spread out over two years. The book first appeared in 1982, and though many other AT books by various authors have appeared since, few are as good as this one. It's been through at least five printings. It's not long - only 127 pages; and the text is handwritten - but who cares? The whole thing is profusely illustrated with the author's own evocative drawings, and the honest and engaging account is impossible to put down. I don't know if it's still in print - I found my copy in a used book store - but it is well worth seeking out.

In addition, you need to decide which guide books you will use, and I understand it really helps if you can read topo maps.  Start experimenting today with different cook systems and foods.  There is so much prep work to do if you want a successful hike.  Good luck though, and be sure to share your experiences with us.






JeremysMom
by Adventurous Amy on Sep. 14, 2011 at 1:16 PM

I plan on hiking the Georgia part of the Appalachian trail next year. It is about 80 miles total. Also, the Georgia Appalachian trail club has the hiking broke down into 11 different trips that they take one trip each month so in 11 months you will have hiked the Georgia part of the AT. I think I am going to do a thru-hike of the Georgia trail though and I am looking for a hiking partner. If you are interested, just let me know.

mapleleafwoman
by Group Owner on Sep. 14, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Oh... that sounds like such fun.  Wish I could come too.

SandraJo
by Member on Sep. 15, 2011 at 1:27 AM
I love a walk in the woods. That book I can always open for a giggle. When I looked at the GA AT site, they still have Wes Wisson listed as a driver for hikers trying to get to the trail.

Jeremysmom, that sounds like a good idea. I'm hoping to do a thru of the GA trail, rather than breaking it up. I'm thinking of trying one state every year that's possible. Hopefully, once hubby does his basic training and AIT, he'll get stationed back in GA or somewhere else in the southeast. If we do, ill definitely pm you. Even just an overnighter, we won't know anything really until June or so.
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mapleleafwoman
by Group Owner on Sep. 15, 2011 at 7:49 AM

This is Karl in the fall of 2008 with Gene Epsy, the man heralded as the second person to walk the entire Appalachian Trail, finishing it in 1951. He autographed his book The Trail of My Life for Karl.  Gene Espy talked with hikers in May 2008 during Trail Days in Damascus.

On Aug. 5, 1948, the day he made history and became an Appalachian Trail legend, Earl Shaffer kept his words simple and short.

"In morn climbed [Mount] Katahdin in leisurely fashion, reached summit of Baxter Peak about 1:30," Shaffer wrote in the journal he'd carried for 124 days and 2,000-plus miles.


SandraJo
by Member on Sep. 15, 2011 at 12:35 PM
Is Karl out hiking right now? That's awesome he got to meet gene epsy!
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mapleleafwoman
by Group Owner on Sep. 15, 2011 at 12:45 PM

No.... he is a cold weather type person... you are more apt to see him hiking in the deep winter.  Right now he is busy trying to get his Home Improvement company off the ground and earn some money.

FitVeggieChick
by Member on Sep. 17, 2011 at 3:00 PM
I'm sooooo reading these books and I absolutely want to do the whole trail when the kids are older!
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mapleleafwoman
by Group Owner on Sep. 18, 2011 at 12:39 AM

Karl wanted to do the whole trail too.  Just remember... when you stop having fun, the fun is over.

Karl left Springer January 1st and hiked north but he had lost so much weight that he finally came off the trail after two months.

He then went back out and hiked south through to the end of New Hampshire before injuries took him off the trail once more.   He still hopes to go back out and finish it but the drive is no longer there.  He knows now if he can do that much, that he could do it all.  I think he was glad to see both Springer and Katahdin.

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