Tag Archives: Thru hiking

The Journey is Complete

I know we haven’t fully recapped our 2,185.3 mile hiking adventure but we couldn’t delay putting this up any longer. On September, 27th Lindsay and I summited Mt Kathadin in northern Maine, finishing our 2014 Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike. We took off our well worn boots and hung up our quite smelly backpacks after 5 months and 3 days of rain, sun, sweat, cold, tears, beers and most importantly stories and friendships that will last a lifetime.

Sunshine, Turtle, Lindsay, Fern Gully and I at the top of Mt Katahdin on September 27th, 2014
Sunshine, Turtle, Lindsay, Fern Gully and I at the top of Mt Katahdin on September 27th, 2014

Discussing and writing the blog became a regular part in our day to day life on the trail and if you’re reading this then you played a role in our success. Thank you for following along with our misguided adventures, pretending that our pictures aren’t terrible and not tearing up my writing… most of the time at least!

We’re going to keep writing about the journey for the next few weeks and plan on spending our winter updating the blog every week so keep checking back!

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New Hampshire and The White Mountains; Aug 29th (1743mi) to Sep 9th (1887mi)

Leaving the Green Mountains of Vermont was one of the more bittersweet moments we had on the northern part of the Appalachian Trail. Lindsay and I both looked forward to tackling the looming challenge of the White Mountains partly because of the beauty that the big peaks and ridge lines of New Hampshire held on a clear, sunny day but also so that people would stop talking about how hard they were going to be. It seemed like “The Whites” produced a near-paralyzing fear for at least 100 miles before the first climb. Considering the fact that a blind man (Bill Irwin) had thru-hiked and people in the 80s thru-hike every year we assumed that some of the anxiety might have been from slightly exaggerated stories and tales. Nonetheless, we decided to err on the side of caution and take a rest day to load up on calories and resupply our food in the beautiful New England town of Hanover, NH. As long as erring on the side of caution is having a self-cooked pizza feast at the community pizza ovens with a case or two of Long Trail Ale then we were very safe in our preparation for embarking on our White Mountain Adventure.

Continue reading New Hampshire and The White Mountains; Aug 29th (1743mi) to Sep 9th (1887mi)

The Green Mountains; Aug 20th (1607mi) to Aug 28th (1743mi)

Ahh, Vermont. Delightfully scenic, unique, varied and a bit one-off, Vermont. For the first 100 miles of this state, the Appalachian Trail and Long Trail share the same pathway separating just past Rutland, Vermont at the Maine Junction. As you may have read in our previous post, The Slackpack Experiment, we ended our 230 miles of hiking sans-backpack in Bennington, Vermont. Bennington is located only fifteen miles past the Vermont border, resulting in our purposeful decision to put backpacks on at the start of the Green Mountains. Not only did we start back up carrying our houses on our backs again, but we did so at the reappearance of real mountains. This led to a bit of apprehension about the endeavor to come and whether or not we would be able to make the mental and physical transition to backpacking again.

Continue reading The Green Mountains; Aug 20th (1607mi) to Aug 28th (1743mi)

The Slackpack Experiment; Aug 7th to Aug 19th

As you may have surmised from the previous couple posts, we did not have the best mental state going into the last 1/3 of our Appalachian Trail thru hike. Our feet hurt, we had less then spectacular scenery and to be perfectly honest we simply were not having fun anymore. We had just spent two days in town in complete bed rest and after four days of hiking it seemed like the down time didn’t help to rejuvenate us in the slightest. Every time we took a zero day it seemed pointless, ineffective and even worse, a waste of time. Walking for a week and taking two days off had proven fruitless twice now, and doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result is often referred to as the definition as insanity.

We knew that our current method of getting to Maine by foot wasn’t working. We also knew that the last thing either of us wanted was to quit the trail. We knew that our bodies and minds were beaten down and probably the worst of all, hiking the Appalachian Trail stopped being fun for about 200 miles. If fortune favors the bold then the time had come to think outside the box but still get our butts to Maine!

Continue reading The Slackpack Experiment; Aug 7th to Aug 19th

Duncannon, PA: July 18th (1143mi) to Greenwood Lakes, NY: August 1st (1367mi)

After managing to successfully leave the Doyle Hotel relatively unscathed, we pushed on further into Pennsylvania. As you may have gathered from the previous post The Halfway Hangover we didn’t greet this task full of gusto and vigor but rather kept plugging along, putting one foot in front of each other. Unfortunately, at this point in the hike, the upcoming rocks seemed to be the topic of any hiker conversation, just leading to a building sense of dread for the last 80(ish) miles of Pennsylvania after leaving Port Clinton, PA. So how bad were they really?

Continue reading Duncannon, PA: July 18th (1143mi) to Greenwood Lakes, NY: August 1st (1367mi)