Archive for the ‘Appalachian Trail’ Category


Tuesday, March 1st, 2016
The trail lives on!

The trail lives on!

Post AT

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Tonight I am staying at an RV park, not far from Little Rock, AR. I am headed west for Arizona where I will visit family and do a little sight seeing for a while. I’m not sure when I will arrive in Phoenix but I will not tarry too long.

It was nice to spend some time with Jen, Louie, Vinny, Carmen, Lucy, and Dave and Lisa, and Karen, Zack and Noah. Thank you Louie for all the help getting my van out of storage, and for letting me hang out and recover at your home.

My trip south to dispose of my old van, still waiting for me at the park where the AT begins, went pretty much according to plan. I stopped in Winston-Salem, NC and bought the motorcycle I fell in love with since reading about it on the internet. From there I continued on to GA and sold my old van at a junk yard in Atlanta, road the motorcycle back to the park, and stayed there for the night. The next morning I could not get the motorcycle to start. So I loaded it up and drove 5 hours back to NC to have them fix it.

Of course, when I got to the dealer, it started right up. They kept it overnight to make sure nothing was wrong. I’m hoping it was just a fluke.

I wanted to visit friends I met on the AT that live in the south, but now I’m just feeling that I will have to do it another time. Please know that I think of you even though I can’t stop by.

Random Thoughts

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

I lost 40 pounds, three toenails, and I guess you could say, six months of my life.

I still walk like a baby deer when I first get up.

My foot still hurts and so does my knee.

The bottoms of my feet are numb and my digestive system seems to be all out of whack.

No matter how much sleep I get, I still feel tired much of the day.

My favorite shoes – even when I go to the store – are my crocs.

In the store I actually passed up a tube of toothpaste because it was too heavy.

I still crave fluff-a-nutter sandwiches and Snicker bars, but I can’t stand the thought of raman noodles or tuna.

I don’t wear anything synthetic, preferring instead the soft feel of cotton.

If you watched me walk across the parking lot you would wonder how in the world I walked 2,184 miles.

With all the pain, all the trouble, and all the suffering, I wouldn’t trade my hike on the AT for anything. It was the greatest and best thing I have ever done.

I Made It!!!

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

9/28/12 – 2184.2 miles
Baxter Peak – Mt. Katahdin – northern terminus of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

At 9:20 am, on September 28, 2012, I became an official thruhiker of the AT when I summited Mt. Katahdin in Maine, the end of my 2000+ mile journey. It will probably take a while for everything to sink in, and I will reserve my thoughts on the past six months until I have digested my feelings a little more. This is more of an update to let everyone know I am fine, and to thank all those who have been following me here on my blog.

Castaway on Katahdin

Castaway on Katahdin

The morning of my summit was near freezing temperature and I shivered in my sleeping bag while waiting for dawn to break. Around 5am, I broke camp and walked a quarter mile to the trail leading up the mountain. It was close to 6am when I signed the register, and aided by my headlamp, started the 4000′ climb to Baxter Peak. The trail was pretty easy at first, but after a mile or so became a boulder scramble and much more technical. Many times I had to pull myself up to a ledge or crawl over a slippery rock face as I worked higher on the mountain. It was definitely the hardest climb of the whole trip, but I had fun in the challenge of this final assent.

After a mile of hard climbing, the trail reached the tablelands and the terrain was easy from there to the summit. It took me 3.5 hours to the top but the view and feelings of accomplishment made it all worth while. I spent about 40 minutes on top, savoring the moments, enjoying the weather, sharing in the friendship with other thruhikers joining me at the summit, and eating a celebritory candy bar.

The climb down took a little longer. I guess the urgency was over and I just wanted to return safely from the mountain. When I reached Katahdin Stream Campground, I caught a ride to Millinocket with another thruhiker whose parents had come to pick him up on his summit day.

I booked into a motel for a couple of nights and will begin my transition back to New York tomorrow. My poor body is tired and sore. I always thought it would be my knee that would take me off the trail but it was a foot that suddenly halted me for two days. I’m still not sure what happened, the pain is on the top of my right foot and still hurts some. I think I need some rest.

I went to the store and bought new jeans – it’s been quite a while since I’ve worn size 34 – and I need to get a belt to hold them up. I lost a total of 40 lbs which will be hard to keep off – I still have a raging appetite.

Everyone will want to know, “what’s next?” and I really can’t answer that totally. The only plan for now is to get out west as soon as I can and see my Mom. Then it will be wherever the wind blows me.


Monday, September 24th, 2012

9/24/12 – 2138 miles
For two days now I have been resting at a place called White House Landing, located on the Pemadumcook Lake, 45 miles south of my final Appalachian Trail destination. For reason I can’t explain… well, maybe 2100 miles, my foot suddenly developed pain behind the toes, which became more and more sore as I continued my hike. Somewhere after descending White Cap Mt., I informed the Troverts and Kleenex that I was in trouble. I knew it would take a lot of pain to stop me – I had a lot of it then.

There is still plenty of time to finish my thruhike, Baxter State Park doesn’t close until Oct 15. The bittersweet ending will be that I will miss summiting with my friends. They want me to shuttle north and climb Katahdin with them, but I want more than anything for my journey to end on the Mountain and not some back road.

So my plan is to go on alone and finish this thing. I intend to go slow and easy on my foot, hoping it will get me there. I probably won’t have cell service from here to the end and I want to save what battery I have left, so you may not get any updates for a while. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it!