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mcw1882
11-24-2003, 15:59
I recently stumbled upon this website, and I was hoping someone out there might be able to help....

In 1980, I thru hiked the AT with my stepdad Jeff and mother Reina at age six. The time spent on the trail was the best moments of my life. I have been searching for my stepdad ever since my mother divorced him in the mid eighties, but I haven't been able to find him. Just wondering if anyone might have heard of Jeff Cogswell, or his whereabouts...

He was a travelling man, so I doubt he settled in anywhere for too long, but any info would be nice.

I'm also planning on another thru hike within the next year. I'd like to be able to start at Springer, and go to Katahdin, and back again. It seems like a impossibility, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Thanks to all ahead of time,

Mike Williams
aka
Mike Cogswell (adopted name when I was with Jeff, but have since gone back to my biological name...)

Lone Wolf
11-24-2003, 16:33
What's his middle name and approx. age?

mcw1882
11-24-2003, 16:38
What's his middle name and approx. age?

Unfortunately, I don't know... I've tried local listings, i.e, phone book, but haven't come up with anything. I know he used to be a marine diesil mechanic, he sailed down the Mississippi in a "Tom Sawyer" raft in '76, and rode a 10-speed across the country. I also know he had a son named Justin who should be in his mid 30's by now...

mcw1882
11-24-2003, 16:43
Unfortunately, I don't know... I've tried local listings, i.e, phone book, but haven't come up with anything. I know he used to be a marine diesil mechanic, he sailed down the Mississippi in a "Tom Sawyer" raft in '76, and rode a 10-speed across the country. I also know he had a son named Justin who should be in his mid 30's by now...
And if I can recall correctly, I believe Jeff would be in his 50's-60's by now...

Rain Man
11-24-2003, 17:28
I know he used to be a marine diesil mechanic, he sailed down the Mississippi in a "Tom Sawyer" raft in '76, and rode a 10-speed across the country. ..

Odd... I just returned Larry Luxenburg's book to the library today. It contains accounts of two guys who did this separately, but knew each other. Title of book is something like "Walking the Appalachian Trail." Have you checked it? It has their names and some info on them. Good luck!!!

Rain Man

mcw1882
11-24-2003, 17:32
Odd... I just returned Larry Luxenburg's book to the library today. It contains accounts of two guys who did this separately, but knew each other. Title of book is something like "Walking the Appalachian Trail." Have you checked it? It has their names and some info on them. Good luck!!!

Rain Man

Thanks alot, I'll pop over to the library now and check it out...

Lone Wolf
11-24-2003, 17:34
mcw1882, you, your mom and step-dad are metioned on page 12 of the book.

mcw1882
11-24-2003, 18:12
Yeah, I found the excerpts on the GORP website, thanks.

Lone Wolf
11-24-2003, 18:20
Did you know that the letter you wrote to the ATC just after your hike is framed and displayed on the wall there? Pretty cool.

mcw1882
11-24-2003, 19:04
Did you know that the letter you wrote to the ATC just after your hike is framed and displayed on the wall there? Pretty cool.

Yes, it seems like ages ago. In fact, I just found out the other day that another 6 year old completed the AT with his family. It would be cool to talk with him and find out what he thought. That's one of the reasons why I'm planning another thru hike. Over time some of those memories got lost, but when I see a picture, or read an article, they come back to me. Unfortunately I lost everything when my mother and stepdad got a divorce. We were living in a school bus at a KOA in North Miami. If I recall correctly, the campground seized everything we still had there, from my orange Eastpak with the home built frame, to the pictures and magazines, like Backpacker March/April 1981 and National Geographic World. In fact we were almost on the Today show in '81, but our segment got cancelled because of the Hostage release from Iran...

Definitely the best times of my life were spent growing up on the trail, and I have yet been able to find anything that matches it. Sometimes I worry that when I do get back on the trail, it won't be the same due to the expansion of towns... Hopefully not, I know the AT will hold that splendor I experienced in my childhood, but there will be a whole new experience and I really can't wait.

Lone Wolf
11-24-2003, 19:15
My first thru-hike was in 86 and things are considerably different now in 03. More and bigger shelters, many more hostels, tons of relos and 10 times more people. I'm glad I have photos and memories of the "old days".

mcw1882
11-24-2003, 19:21
My first thru-hike was in 86 and things are considerably different now in 03. More and bigger shelters, many more hostels, tons of relos and 10 times more people. I'm glad I have photos and memories of the "old days".

I still have some photos, when I get a chance I'll upload them to the gallery.

griz901
08-04-2007, 00:20
"Just wondering if anyone might have heard of Jeff Cogswell, or his whereabouts..."

My biological name is Cogswell. I've tried to email and pm you. Would you PM me?

Best regards,

your cousin Billy - son of William Cogswell and Barbara:welcome

remember Grandma Jean? Aunt Lindy? Jeff and your mom got married on a boat in Florida? I'm a bit older than you and my mom kept me away from the Cogswell side of the family until I was an adult. I visited aunt Lindy and Grandma Jean last Thanksgiving. They are in eastern Washington state and I am in Montana. I thought you were Justin (the AT kid).

griz901
08-06-2007, 20:12
Mike,
I tried to respond to your private message. It says you have chosen not to receive PM's. Would you email me with the address I gave you in the PM's?

I want to send you your Aunt Lindy's phone and address, they want to talk with you. So you know I'm not a nut job she said to tell you she remembers you in Sacramento when you were six. Grandma told you to get a coat on because it was cold and you said you should be back in Florida.

I know this may be difficult. We would really like to hear from you.

regards,
Bill

Frolicking Dinosaurs
08-06-2007, 20:19
::: Dino dabs at tears of joy for Mike :::

griz901
08-06-2007, 20:42
I got your voicemail and will be calling back shortly. I tried to call back seconds after your call and got your voicemail.

Bill

Skidsteer
08-06-2007, 20:55
Now this is cool.

Hope all ends well!:sun

Jim Adams
08-06-2007, 21:01
INCREDIBLE!!!!
that IS trail majic!
Good Luck

geek

griz901
08-06-2007, 21:10
I just got off the phone with Mike who is very excited right now. I'm sure he is in the process of calling his aunt.

Thanks to the site admins for putting up with my posts and PM's. We appreciate your help in getting the word back to mcw1882.

And I guess there really is trail magic... I'll let Mike decide if wants to post when he has time to internalize what just happened.

Best regards,
The Cogswell clan

Cookerhiker
08-06-2007, 22:12
Mike, I remember reading about your family's hike in some magazine - Backpacker? Wasn't part of the article about some of your hike was in winter and your parents almost quit but you - a 6-year old - talked them into continuing?

I couldn't find the article but I did find the March/April 1981 Appalachian Trailway News which listed the 1980 thruhikers including the 3 Cogswells. PM me if you want me to make a copy for you.

This story is heartwarming. Blessing to you in your reunion with loved ones.

peanuts
08-07-2007, 10:26
family reunions.....so precious.... so enjoy and savor every bit of it.....

wrongway_08
08-07-2007, 17:04
Really cool! I am glad you all got this chance to reconnect with family!!!

mcw1882
08-07-2007, 23:44
Well I'm finally getting the chance to post so here it goes...

First and foremost I have to give my sincerest thanks to attroll and white blaze. Without this site, odds are I'd still be searching.

The last thing I expected was for this post to work out, but I'm glad it did.
I spoke with my Grandma for the first time in 20+ years, and it was wonderful. She still remembers me as that skinny little blonde kid. Speaking with her, my cousin, and my aunt felt great. If all goes well I hope to get out to visit her next month...


And now for the bad news...

I found out that my dad passed away in 2001. It's disappointing because there was so much I wanted to say. But even that news has offered a bit of closure.

Seems even though I'm far from the trail, the magic still finds a way to reach out and break the clouds, and let a bit of sun shine down.

Again, I have to say thanks to WhiteBlaze and the hiker community. Hopefully I'll be able to get up to Trail Days next year (I missed out this year due to the black hole that is West Palm said no..) and I'll get to hang with everyone.

Since I'm thanking people, I should probably take this time and thank some of those from 2004...

Thanks to Lonewolf and Wee Willy for the good times in Damascus. I still owe wolf a steak and a drink, and Willy I'm buying next time.

Though the Side Track Cafe isn't around anymore big thanks to Trey and the Side Track Crew. Hawk, Small Child, Uncle Ben, Grass...

I'll even put a seperate line for Nuffy, even though she drove me quite insane with the whole "Candy Boy"...

Thanks to Haiku... for dubbing me Death by Cotton...

Thanks to Honey and Bear for helping us get P.M. to the bus... If anyone has their address it would be appreciated, they put us up for a night in hotel so we could use the rest of our cash to get P.M. home...

Bag o' Tricks... Hope to share a brew and jabberjaw by the light of the fire again..

Thanks to the Shaws in Monson for making the second stay as good as the first...

And though the S.S. Side Track Cafe has been decommisioned, her captain still sails on. So if any of you get the opportunity take the aqua blaze, just avoid doing so at night...

In 1980 I touched every white blaze for 2106 miles. I walked over a 4 ft rattler. I was scared to death by the infamous boar scratching its posterior on an old stump. It was almost as tall as I was. I faced -40 degrees on Mt Washington and spent a night in the dungeoun. I dangled from my ski pole on the backside of Katahdin about to fall down a crevice until Jeff pulled me back up with one hand and told me "Be more careful son..." The spirit of two broken parents were renewed by the tear feared fury of a six year old who refused to quit when they had all but thrown in the towel. I endured months of powdered milk, instant potatoes.

In 2004 I did alot of what I thought we would've like to have been able to do. I took damn near every blaze other than white. Probably the best part was seeing all the NoBos on my way back South...

In closing, I just want to say thanks again to everyone. Being back in the city, its nice to still be able to feel the magic...

Heater
08-08-2007, 02:06
:cool:That was very cool:cool:

:sun

Kiyu
08-08-2007, 04:29
Wonderful story and it continues on.
For you it has proven to truly be a journey without end.

Kiyu

Outlaw
08-08-2007, 09:44
:cool:That was very cool:cool::sun

Ditto. Absolutely awesome! :D

Mags
08-08-2007, 12:20
True trail magic. Awesome!

cutman11
08-08-2007, 22:27
WOW..this thread gave me goosebumps...and as a surgeon, I am trained not to react too much to stuff. The story of this thread is in one sense so sad, and yet, so wonderfully amazing that we can be so connected thru this site. Whiteblaze continues to have an unbelievably great community of folks from all walks of life, what we hope for in an ideal world.

Marko Polo
04-10-2008, 00:18
Mike,

I hope you are still checking in every now and then.

In 1980 I was 17 years old and part of a church group that hiked with your family for 3 or 4 days in VA. I have alot of pictures of you guys, mostly you. They are black and white and I will have to dig them out of my negative vault. I also have a copy of the Backpacker magazine with your story.

I would like you to have the magazine and I'll make new prints for you when I dig out the negatives.

Thanks to wilconow for the heads up on this thread. I posted in response to Lone Wolf's 'When and Where was your first time on the AT' and told a short story about hiking with you guys. My dates were off as I didn't have any reference in front of me.

I thru hiked ten years later and am thrilled to hear your name again, you were such a cool kid. We are fortunate to have some good times tucked away, we can pull them out when we need them.

Drop me a line if you get a chance so I can get you some pictures and the magazine.

Hike on, Marko

warraghiyagey
04-10-2008, 00:30
This is the coolest thread I have ever seen. Awesome.:sun:sun:sun:sun

Thru Hiker Wife
04-10-2008, 00:38
This is the coolest thread I have ever seen. Awesome.:sun:sun:sun:sun

Ditto. Amazing!

boarstone
04-10-2008, 07:09
What a great thread and to hear from this "kid" who hiked so many years ago and his story has come full circle! Now I've got to read the book! I'm so glad you've found your family again....sniffle sniffle....

Kara
04-10-2008, 08:26
Wow. Not much more I can say about all the great stuff in this thread. Very inspirational to someone who's new to this community.

Crazy Larry #1
04-10-2008, 08:38
Man! This so cool!~

Lyle
04-10-2008, 09:34
:banana:banana:banana:banana:banana:banana:banana: banana

The first time I ever succumbed to using the fricking bananas, but this thread deserves it whole heartedly!!!!

Amazing. Best wishes to all involved.

Freeleo
04-10-2008, 17:31
i jsut saw this photo on the home page...

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=1942

http://i88.photobucket.com/albums/k165/jeffhartman1019/WB.jpg

warraghiyagey
04-10-2008, 22:53
:)Nice work freeleo

Oneofsix
01-22-2012, 07:57
I know this is a super old post but think it is amazing you hiked when you were 6 . . . brilliant. you must be the youngest to complete the trail . . . have you written your story?