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  • Appalachian Trail

    As a young boy scout I hiked a short portion of the AT in New Jersey. Learning it was 2190 miles long and stretched from Georgia to Maine and that some people walked the whole thing was awe inspiring to me. It was something that never left the back of my mind but education, the military then a job took precedence over day dreams. When I was injured and in deep denial at an acute care hospital I told visitors that as soon as I got back on my feet I would thru hike the AT.

    47 years later I am experiencing my dream vicariously via You Tube. It turns out hikers are vlogging their hikes day by day. I am currently following a young woman hiker named Amanda Bess. Just watched her day 16 video. I hope she makes it - she has already had an on trail panic attack and problems with her knees. If she makes Mt Katahdin in Maine it will probably be mid to late October racing the blizzards to the finish. This feat, completing a thru hike, is way more awe inspiring than I ever imagined. Some of the trail would scare a mountain goat. The single worst mile is in Maine, a place called Mahussuc Notch, an incredible jumble of boulders that are fearsome. Suggest you check out some of these videos if interested - just go to You Tube search Amanda Bess, Appalachian Trail, Mahussuc Notch, etc. My apologies that I lack the computer skills to import the videos here. Once you do one search you will have numerous hikers you can follow from this and previous years.

  • #2
    Living 20 miles from the AT and Shenandoah National Park all my life, I too have always wanted to hike the trail. As a kid I spent a lot of time hiking in the mountains close to my home but never made it to the actual AT. I'm sure to hike the entire trail would be amazing.
    "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ancientgimp View Post
      As a young boy scout I hiked a short portion of the AT in New Jersey. Learning it was 2190 miles long and stretched from Georgia to Maine and that some people walked the whole thing was awe inspiring to me. It was something that never left the back of my mind but education, the military then a job took precedence over day dreams. When I was injured and in deep denial at an acute care hospital I told visitors that as soon as I got back on my feet I would thru hike the AT.

      47 years later I am experiencing my dream vicariously via You Tube.
      You guys are bringing back some memories and unfinished plans to me. Ancient, I grew up in Toms River, NJ and as a 12 year old Boy Scout we hiked and camped the trail up in NW / NJ at the Delaware Water Gap. As a young adult lived close to and hiked some of the trail in VT. Like you, I always planned to do the whole trail and still had it on my to-do list when injured at 25.

      Deadeye, you are out in some beautiful country there in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I have been out there a few times and hope to see more of it.

      I am going to check out the YouTube videos, thanks, Ancient.
      Here's a link to the area of trail in NJ where we hiked. It snowed, we had to bring Dinty Moore canned soup and I don't
      know if anyone slept much but it was a great time and memory.

      AT around Delaware Water Gap area:
      https://www.nps.gov/dewa/planyourvis...achian-nst.htm

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      • #4
        We were hiking from an old boy scout camp close to the Water Gap - Camp Paquarrah, which I think no longer exists. Our destination was Sunfish Pond. Thanks for the AT info ChesBay.

        You might see some good Virginia footage of the AT by searching Amelia on the AT, she finished a thru hike in 2017. Also currently hiking is a guy who calls himself Probation Termination or PT. His videos show his wife delivering him to the trail in handcuffs - she uncuffs him, he shoulders his pack and disappears down the trail. I guess the point being that his wife has kept him on a short leash

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        • #5
          Always watch the NCAA tournament this time of year. You can't beat the drama of Maryland Baltimore County, a 16 seed, beating #1 seed, #1 in the country Virginia eliminating them from the tournament. This year I find following current thru hikers on the AT equally dramatic. On You Tube I am following gregp on the at, probation termination, scoutmaster on the at, amanda bess, trailosophy and arnie1mile Andg. The last is a 60 something woman with a teddie bear attached to her pack. She and 2 other women hiking in a cold driving rain and heavy wind almost became hypothermic a few days ago barely making it to the next shelter. I think gregp is taking a few zero days (no miles) to deal with tendonitis. Trailosophy is a recent highschool graduate taking a gap year before college, she seems tireless and determined with an unfailing sunny disposition - so sunny fellow hikers have given her the trail name sunny. Amanda Bess has recovered from her on trail panic attack and has crossed Georgia to North Carolina and has reached Tennessee. I recently watched scoutmaster and probation termination hike through snowstorms which concealed the trail and made mountain hiking dangerous. About 25% of these thru hikers will reach Mt Katahdin in Maine to finish the trail in September or October. I'll be following them all the way as they vlog their hikes. I have an AT trail atlas coming so I can better understand where they are. The players who excel in the NCAA may be rewarded with a lucrative NBA contract - the hikers who endure the whole 2190 mile trail will get a patch to put on their pack, lol.

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          • #6
            It's hard for me to read about the Appalachian trail, I so wanted to do the trail after retirement, If I got just a little more strength and balance, I'd be out there.
            As an sci I'd be slack packing a lot, going to motels and hostels, carrying light loads, no 3 liter wine bags, no more 80 lb backpacks filled with cheese and sausage, I always shared my wine and cheese with the other hikers always had a good time.
            I still have all my lightweight gear, henry tents which weigh a pound and a half, big agnes sleeping bag, ultralight backpacks and so on.
            My whole family used to hike the trails, my mom (she was in her 80s, sisters, nephews and grandkids, was a lot of fun.
            "Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer." Ronald Reagan"

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            • #7
              I hiked up blood mountain, it started raining then it turned into a blizzard, I finally made it to the top, there is an old CCC stone cabin up there with no windows or door, hikers in the past used them for firewood (fires are not allowed up there anymore). There were about ten hikers there, covered the doors and windows with tarps to keep out the wind and snow, although they blew off in the middle of the night, we ran out recovered them. When I opened my sleeping bag, it was frozen as were my clothes, I was wearing shorts and fleeces with a windbreaker, so I pretty much shivered all night. The next morning I walked down the descent which was all frozen icy rocks, at the bottom the trail goes through an outfitter weleisayee, the building was also built of stone by the CCC and the doors and window frames are made of American chestnut, which is in great shape.
              The outfitter is right on the road, so you can drive there. If you do, go down to the hostel in the basement and look for a picture of my Pomeranian tiger, I bought him for my daughter who was on visitation with her mother, so he hiked a 100 miles on the Appalachian with me.
              "Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer." Ronald Reagan"

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              • #8
                I decided I'm going hiking, going to do day hikes of 1 to 2 miles maybe from the mount rogers parking lot, maybe try it for a few weeks or maybe one day, who knows, I have to try though.
                "Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer." Ronald Reagan"

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                • #9
                  Go for it Trekker, you have the spirit of the people I am watching. There is nothing quite like this. These are the people who would have pushed wheelbarrows down the Oregon Trail. In a way, all of us dealing with severe disability know the adversity of the hiker in deep snow who can't find the trail or feel his feet. Good luck.

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                  • #10
                    https://thetrek.co/appalachian-trail/
                    "Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer." Ronald Reagan"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ancientgimp View Post
                      Go for it Trekker, you have the spirit of the people I am watching. There is nothing quite like this. These are the people who would have pushed wheelbarrows down the Oregon Trail. In a way, all of us dealing with severe disability know the adversity of the hiker in deep snow who can't find the trail or feel his feet. Good luck.
                      That's a good analogy, hiking and sci, especially in the beginning of a hike, you're out of shape overpacked, walking up inclines miserable as hell, wondering what the hell you are doing, but it gets better.
                      "Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer." Ronald Reagan"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by trekker6 View Post
                        That's a good analogy, hiking and sci, especially in the beginning of a hike, you're out of shape overpacked, walking up inclines miserable as hell, wondering what the hell you are doing, but it gets better.
                        That's what I seem to be seeing on YouTube. Amanda Bess posted day 23 today and did 15.7 miles, a big improvement over her beginning days and without any complaints of pain. She was walking on icy, knife edged ridges today, scary for me just to watch.

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                        • #13
                          A quadriplegic already completed a thru walk of the Trail in 2016 wearing leg braces and forearm crutches.....she had to come off trail several times for pressure sore/brace issues but she finally completed it.

                          https://thetrek.co/appalachian-trail...-shares-story/

                          She posted lots of videos to youtube.

                          Go for it....
                          T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

                          My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by darkeyed_daisy View Post
                            A quadriplegic already completed a thru walk of the Trail in 2016 wearing leg braces and forearm crutches.....she had to come off trail several times for pressure sore/brace issues but she finally completed it.

                            https://thetrek.co/appalachian-trail...-shares-story/

                            She posted lots of videos to youtube.

                            Go for it....
                            There is a discussion here about that: Qudadriplegic versus Appalachian Trail

                            http:///forum/showthread.php?262028-...ighlight=trail

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                            • #15
                              I was so excited to hear about and sci walker on the applachian trail, having hiked about 600 miles of it, knowing about logistics and the support able bodied hikers need to complete the trail, it's hard to imagine an sci hiker making it, but it is possible.

                              When she claimed to have done the pacific crest trail with none of the trail angels never having heard of her and no hikers meeting her, it's not believeable, typically on the trail it's a community so everyone is aware of each other, not to mention that you need to carry lots of water, it's much drier out there than the appalachian trail. Because of this, I don't believe she did the Appalachian trail either, probably section hiking for photo ops, it's a shame.

                              Because she had the bionic legs, she needed batteries charged every other day, there are many sections that are 4-6 day hikes and walking with a heavy prosthesis, unless she had trail runners supplying her with essentials.
                              "Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer." Ronald Reagan"

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