Finished My Thru-hike!
by, 10-12-2010 at 22:44 (5560 Views)
I made it up Katahdin on September 16, 2010. I was on the trail for 184 days and I took over 6 million steps. I hiked for 160 days. My average hiking speed was just over 2 miles an hour. I averaged 11.81 miles per day. My longest day was 24 miles and the shortest was 1 mile and I took 24 days off (zero days). I spend 30 nights in a hotel, 10 nights in hostels, 120 days in shelters, and I used my tent 15 days. The elevation change was 475,200 feet.Clingmans Dome was the highest peak wat 6643 feet. The Hudson River was the lowest point at 124 feet.
I didnít take or need a gun. I did get to see a few bears, a few rattlesnakes, and one lunatic in the Smoky Mountains. I survived. I found out about being wet for a week. I packed my hiking gear and hoisted it up and realized it's a lot lighter than when I started.
Like EZ Hiker, I will always have a fondness for walking up to a shelter with the anticipation of seeing other hikers Iíve met previously on the trail. Seeing another hiker you have not crossed paths with in awhile was always a happy encounter.
Spotting a moose or a bear unexpectedly was exciting. I did get to see bears in Virginia and New Jersey and I saw moose in Maine. I saw a flock of wild turkeys on the Skyline Drive in Virginia. There were deer all along the trail. The bugs, ticks and the snakes I donít miss.
I miss standing on the tops of ridges and being able to see for miles and miles. This is rare on the trail as I was usually looking at my feet. The best views were in North Carolina, New Hampshire and Maine. These views were spectacular.
I miss hitting an all you can eat buffet places and not worrying about gaining weight. In Catawba, VA, seventeen thru-hikers waited at the Home Place Restaurant as it opened. They put us in a private room because of our smell, I guess. Since Iíve gotten back Iím trying not to gain weight.
I miss turning a corner on the trail and finding a cooler full of trail magic. That act of kindness by someone Iíve never met made even the hardest day on the trail suddenly much better. My wife and I plan next year to pay it forward.
I miss talking to thru-hiker that tell me about their hike. Sea bear, Cotton Patch, Billy the Kid and Silver back met me along the trail. They encouraged me to keep going. They were right. I made it to the top of Mount Kathadin.
I miss seeing people like Fireman, Mud Foot, HDMama, Whipper Snap, Sid, Magnet, So Far, and Dodger. Of all the great things that happen on the trail, it is the friendships I made with other hikers that make it a memorable experience. Most of these are now on Face book with me.
If you are thinking of thru-hiking, GO FOR IT. Happy Trails!