Post-Trail FAQ

Hey folks, its been a bit. I’ve managed to reintegrate into society, and have had the opportunity to answer many questions about the AT. This has given me the chance to attempt to talk about my hike in a couple of different ways, with varying degrees of success. It turns out that packaging the experience…

AT Update: 16 – BLOOD AND THUNDER

The final section of trail went by in a blur. Between the short, rainy days, bare leafless trees, and the fact that I had been hiking for half a year, there wasn’t much to focus on. But I’m sort of a pro a this point, and the routine was pretty well established. Toward the end,…

AT Update: 15 – This Ivory Leg is What Propels Me

“I would walk 500 miles,” goes the chorus of that one song by the Proclaimers. “And I would walk 500 more.” It continues on to say something about collapsing at some poor sucker’s door, which I think is appropriate. Because I went that far. And when it wasn’t enough, I went and did it again….

AT Update: 14 – Poop Talk

I was asked quite a few questions when I was starting out on this trip. People asked everything from what the AT actually was to my choices of gear, but no one, not one single person, asked me what I was going to do when I had to poop. I wonder about the reasons for…

AT Update: 13 – The First Frost

Virginia is long, but I am going fast. I’ve been doing better than 100 miles a week, and it feels great. Most of the days lately have begun with a climb up to a ridge, followed by several hours of easy walking to the next notch, where I either stop for lunch or set up…

AT Update: 12 – Part 2: Part 1

I don’t think northern Virginia likes me. When this whole thing started many moons ago, I hiked through thirty or so miles in a thunderstorm that stopped when I reached West Virginia. This time, I had a couple of muggy, but otherwise pleasant days before it rained for a whole. Damn. Week. I had anticipated…

AT Update: 11 – About Face

I’m a southbounder now. The North is done. I’m back home in Maryland, going through my gear, changing batteries, mending seams, and generally equipping myself for a hike in autumn (orange all over everything). The last northern section of the trail was kind of mixed for me. I’d heard that the 100 Mile Wilderness was…

AT Update: 10 – The Fourth Digit

“What do you think of my home state?” Custom and I were sitting at the edge of a lake, eating breakfast and watching the sun come up. “Eh, it’s ok.” We were sitting on a wide flat rock that jutted out into the water as though it had been placed there as a pier. The…

AT Update: 9 – White Mountain Hype Machine

For nearly 800 miles, I got to hear about the White Mountains. Everyone had something to say, and at times it could be difficult to separate informed opinion from rumor, hyperbole, or plain old lies. “The Whites are the hardest part of the trail.” – That one vet who did the trail a few years…

AT Update: Number Eight – There Is No Pain, You Are Receding

Leaving Vermont was the first time I didn’t feel like I was checking something off a list. Make no mistake, I’m excited for New Hampshire, but I had a great time in Vermont. The Green Mountains are heavily wooded, no surprise there, so there wasn’t much to see for most of it, but the views…

AT Update: 7 – Berkshire Blitz

I went almost a hundred miles in less than a week. For a while there I was afraid that I wouldn’t speed up in time to avoid hitting winter in the South. Granted, I’ll hit winter anyway, since there’s no way I can maintain that pace through serious mountains, but! at least I know I…

AT Update: Six – New York, New Gear, New England

I think whale sharks are really cool. They’re the largest fish species, the largest one recorded weighing over 20 tons (Wikipedia, woo!). Like other extremely large animals, it grazes rather than hunts. There is simply no prey that would be worth the energy for something so large to chase down. In the ocean, grazing often…