Thursday, February 4, 2010

gearing up



It is that time of year again, hundreds of dedicated souls are gathering supplies and stuffing their backpacks for the 2100+ mile trek on the AT. It is fun to read their stories, hear about the latest gear, their enthusiasm is contagious!

According to whiteblaze.net, as of today there are 379 folks registered as 2010 thru-hikers. This registry gives trail name, direction, estimated start date, a thru-hiker being someone who hikes the trail from end-to-end.

Last summer I met Collin, owner of the local hiking store, who is now getting ready to start her thru-hike, she recently posted on Facebook: UL 5oz down jacket finally arrived! I am finally ready for the Appalachian Trail. Look out.

Regina is another lady I met hiking last year, she had hiked the entire AT and the Pacific Coast Trail. Now she is out hiking the BMT.

'A Hike of Their Own' is a recent article in AT Journeys that highlights all the older women out there hiking - "Your mental attitude is as important as your physical and the mental comes with age and experience." One of the many ladies featured in this article is the infamous Grandma Gatewood who completed two thru-hikes of the AT, the first when she was 67 (with her knapsack and wearing Keds).

The traditional AT through-hiker starts at the Southern end and heads north, mainly because of weather conditions. So during the month of March there will be lots of activity nearby, as the beginning of the trail is about 10 miles from our house (as the crow flies). To get there by car or truck or preferably Jeep - through winding gravel forest service roads - is more like 30 miles.

Granddaughter Sarah recently announced that she wants to hike The Trail, date to be determined. She is reading trail stories and gathering information, she is in 10th grade so has lots of time to plan.

Getting in the spirit, I printed out an article from the Sherpa guides on the AT in GA, all the road crossings and trail description, planning on doing some hiking myself, some long day hikes (10 miles?) and possibly an overnight backpacking trip. The trail in GA is 77 miles, maybe I can do that much this year? Something to think about, goals are good.

For now I am keeping close to the fire and living vicariously reading magazine articles and blogs and online trail journals - maybe I will see some of these folks out on the trail!


4 comments:

Lainee said...

I've started walking the dog on the roads on Eagle Mountain. Getting my endurance back for AT hiking is a cool idea.

The Calico Cat said...

Maybe I can hike the Maryland AT...

G N Bassett said...

Thanks for your link to my blog. I have placed a link on my sidebar to your blog as well.

As you mention in your post, this is the time of year that folk's attention is turning to the trail. So too am I planning to head out for another week in early May, starting at the Nantahala Outdoor Center and going through the smokies. But this time I'll have some company: my wife and just-home-from-college daughter. Should be interesting.

Michael Manning said...

Nice! I have many friends who hike weekly!!! Enjoy it all!