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View Full Version : The AT did what for you this year?



Ron Haven
12-18-2007, 00:05
As the year of 2007 draws to a close in less than two weeks.What enjoyment,experience,or new outlooks on life did the AT bring you.

Bearpaw
12-18-2007, 00:11
The little stretch from Newfound Gap to Icewater Springs gave my girlfriend and me an easy approach to Mt. LeConte. She's not the strongest hiker, but she always moves along.

Next year, I've agreed to walk the AT though the Smokies with her over three sections. She doesn't care for more than about 8 miles a day, but she gets stronger (inside and out) each time we're out.

Sly
12-18-2007, 00:13
I finally got to stay at the Doyle Hotel, and reaffirmed my notion that fat men can hike.. :p Those were noteworthy. :D

rafe
12-18-2007, 00:17
Took my second-longest section hike ever, and finished it, by golly. Met great people, lost eighteen pounds, saw cool wildlife (a rattler, a bear, wild turkey, oodles of deer.) Headed down below the Mason-Dixon for the first time in ages... and survived. :D Walked through Harpers Ferry, Duncannon, Shenandoah National Park. Had a fabulous blackberry milkshake. Climbed the Priest, sat on McAffee Knob. Stayed at the Doyle and at Ironmasters. Camped on top of Mary's Rock. Met Mr. Wiffle and Chilly. Fifteen miles a day for thirty-nine days. Not too shabby for an old phart, if I say so myself. PS, on a sad note... those 18 pounds? They're back. :(

Ron Haven
12-18-2007, 00:19
I finally got to stay at the Doyle Hotel, and reaffirmed my notion that fat men can hike.. :p Those was noteworthy. :DOh yea Fatt men can hike,I favor that snot in the musinex commercial going down the trail,laughing and enjoying every step I take.

doggiebag
12-18-2007, 00:23
The trail taught me that this is one realllly big country. It also taught me that it's ok to have a different perspective outside the mass consumption lifestyle that the media bombards us with ... it also taught me that there are a lot more good people than bad. It taught me that my dog and I are a couple of tough sumbitches - it taught me too much to put into words. It taught me that there is still magic and goodnes in the world. But that's just me - I had a great experience.... I'm sure there are plenty of others that dont want to see another tree for the rest of their lives. :eek:

Monkeyboy
12-18-2007, 00:30
It taught me that there are a lot of messy hikers that stay in shelters.....

We had to hike out a lot of crap that should never have been left in the first place....

Sly
12-18-2007, 00:47
It taught me that there are a lot of messy hikers that stay in shelters.....

We had to hike out a lot of crap that should never have been left in the first place....


Is your cup always half empty? :rolleyes:

hopefulhiker
12-18-2007, 01:06
I introduced one of my oldest friends and his son to backpacking this year on a short hike from Carver's Gap back down to Erwin.. They really liked it!

shoe
12-18-2007, 01:15
This year the AT brought me:

Pride in myself knowing that if I persevere I will make it to my destination.
(both on and off the trail)

I got to meet Ron a couple of times.

I learned not to take water for granted.

And fat girls can hike too :)

Tinker
12-18-2007, 01:19
The AT got my pastor interested in hiking (if only temporarily). He and his wife came with me and my wife to the Inn at Long Trail the first time this year for my wife's birthday (as we have done for the past 10 years or so). We walked the mile or so down the hill to Gifford Woods State park where we met our wives who had had a nice walk around the campground. He expressed an interest in getting the youth in our church out doing the same. Hopefully, we can get something together next year with the kids.
Now that was worth the trip!

Wonder
12-18-2007, 01:25
Last year, I got to meet the trail....this year I got to know it. I look at it everyday, and the beauty of it never fades. I'm thankful everyday, for taking that fist step off Springer....when I did, I never thought that I'd step into a new life!

River Runner
12-18-2007, 03:51
The trail gave me a chance to meet some great people this year - Miss Janet and her daughter & Uncle Johnny & his helper Shelley in April, and Ron Haven and his helper Dave in October are those that stand out the most. I got to meet (and be inspired by) some wonderful northbound and southbound thru-hikers and section hikers.

It gave me the chance to hike 137 miles in a little over a couple of weeks thanks to the kindness and support of the fine folks mentioned by name above.

It gave me the chance to get closer to family & friends I hiked with. Not to mention some beautiful views, some sunshine, some rain, some snow, some cold winds, and some warm breezes. It gave me the chance to see my fourth bear in the wilderness, and countless smaller mammals and birds. It gave me the chance to challenge myself and to kick back and relax. It gave me the chance to escape from the pressures of the modern world for a while, yet still know that many of the conveniences were available when I chose to avail myself of them.

I have to say the trail was good to me this year.

The Mechanical Man
12-18-2007, 04:20
I was in Hot Springs NC 1st week in October, to hike on the AT, but came home early due to NO WATER at ANY reliable sources. Only 2 water sources in a 40 mile strech of trail North of Hot Springs, some hikers were getting off of the 35 mile section South of Hot Springs told me "DON"T DO IT", they were all going home to recover from dehydration.

I drove home 12 hours the next day thinking, and I have postponed my section hike with only 314.7 miles to go, until rain refills all the springs in Tenn and NC.


This year I counted at least (100 trail volunteer hours) for myself from Oct 1st, 2006 until Oct 1st 2007.
My son enjoys meeting hikers from all around the world visiting with us, he and our dog NEMO was with me for at least 30 hours of the time I spent on if you want to keep that on record too.
There is alway something to do if you really want to be involved on any section of AT as a maintainer.
I spent some ertra volunteer time at Leroy Shelter to check the spring flow this summer....... and more time than that cleaning up empty water bottles at AMC trailhead parking area's.


I remember taking a hiker named "Castanets" to get stiches at Palmerton hospital early in the season, and still have lots of folks calling me about water sources due to drought situations in PA.
Not to mention the extra time I spent at Little Gap trail head cleaning up empty water bottles this summer, plus time I spent on the phone with ATC, and Todd Remaley in Boiling Springs about trail magic trash problems on our 16 mile AMC section.

Wow,
Happy New Year,.......... and God Bless Us Hikers........ Everyone.

River Runner
12-18-2007, 04:37
I was in Hot Springs NC 1st week in October, to hike on the AT, but came home early due to NO WATER at ANY reliable sources. Only 2 water sources in a 40 mile strech of trail North of Hot Springs, some hikers were getting off of the 35 mile section South of Hot Springs told me "DON"T DO IT", they were all going home to recover from dehydration.

I drove home 12 hours the next day thinking, and I have postponed my section hike with only 314.7 miles to go, until rain refills all the springs in Tenn and NC.

If I had driven that far, I think I would have driven around and planted a few bottles of water for myself and others and hiked on. :eek:

Even if I did have to go back and pick up empties later. :D

Lone Wolf
12-18-2007, 04:42
yeah really. there's plenty of places to stash water north and south of Hot Springs

The Mechanical Man
12-18-2007, 04:52
The springs will be running when I hike this section, I will wait until I can enjoy my hike.....................

Hot Springs is a great place to visit, just not when the River is at it's lowest level in a long time.

Kirby
12-18-2007, 07:27
I section hiked the 100 mile wilderness this summer and hiked the Bigelows up to Avery Peak.

Kirby

Roots
12-18-2007, 08:19
The trail was somewhat of a 'lifesaver' for me. My love for hiking exploded after being on the AT from Wayah to Fontana this year. It taught me it's okay not to be in control, to not give up, and that I am A LOT stronger than I ever gave myself credit for in the past. It also was what lead me to all you GREAT people here at WB-yes, even you LW:D .

THANKS AT!!!!:banana

MOWGLI
12-18-2007, 08:43
This was the first year in many that I didn't hike a good distance on the AT. I walked down an unmarked blaze near Linden, VA with a maintainer friend, set foot on the AT, then turned around and walked out.

The AT always allows to to dream about trips yet had, recall memories, and talk to the friends that I've met along the way. This year was no exception.

Hooch
12-18-2007, 09:31
Ask not what the AT did for you, ask what you can do for the AT. :D Seriously, the AT showed me that I didn't just enjoy camping, but that I love backpacking. Like others that mentioned it here, I'm a bigger guy, so moving a bit on the slow side is what I do for now. But I get out and do it, which is what really matters. It's taught me that although my fitness level certainly isn't up to par with some of the folks here, or what it used to be for that matter, it's ok for me to get out and hike. Will I ever thru-hike? Probably not, in all reality. But I'll have a lot of fun taking the AT on section after section. :D

SGT Rock
12-18-2007, 09:37
It helped me re-associate and maintain my sanity.

pitdog
12-18-2007, 09:40
How about what one did for the AT this year.

Hooch
12-18-2007, 09:41
Ask not what the AT did for you, ask what you can do for the AT.


How about what one did for the AT this year.That's what I said. :D

SGT Rock
12-18-2007, 09:47
Cleaned up some trail sheltersand such. No serious maintenance on the AT this year.

Hooch
12-18-2007, 09:54
Ask not what the AT did for you, ask what you can do for the AT. :D Seriously, the AT showed me that I didn't just enjoy camping, but that I love backpacking. Like others that mentioned it here, I'm a bigger guy, so moving a bit on the slow side is what I do for now. But I get out and do it, which is what really matters. It's taught me that although my fitness level certainly isn't up to par with some of the folks here, or what it used to be for that matter, it's ok for me to get out and hike. Will I ever thru-hike? Probably not, in all reality. But I'll have a lot of fun taking the AT on section after section. :DSince it was my first year spending any time on the Trail, my work on it was limited to picking up trash that others had left behind along the Trail. It wasn't as much as I had though tit might be, but I was glad to do my part, nonetheless. And I left Trail Magic a few weeks ago for the SOBO's in the creek near I-40 and Standing Bear, 2 cases of the world's most yummy soda.......Cheerwine!

Shiraz-mataz
12-18-2007, 09:57
For me, 2007 finally provided me the opportunity to "meet" the trail for the first time. I've driven under Maryland's I-70 bridge countless times but have never taken a step on the trail itself. Over two trips this summer I managed to complete the Maryland portion between Harpers Ferry and Penn Mar and look forward to next year's section from Harpers Ferry south to SNP.

gregdog
12-18-2007, 10:06
My Boys and I got to meet Ron.......and I had my best tatsing beer at the NOC.

Hooch
12-18-2007, 10:07
My Boys and I got to meet Ron.......and I had my best tatsing beer at the NOC.Sam Adams Cherry Wheat or Oktoberfest......yum! :D

gregdog
12-18-2007, 10:09
I think mine was just a Bud.....but by the river after the hike it couldn't have been better.

Hooch
12-18-2007, 10:11
I think mine was just a Bud.....but by the river after the hike it couldn't have been better.I'm with you, I think the circumstances surrounding drinking a cold one have a lot to do with how good it is. Even crappy beer tastes pretty good when you have it in the right place for the right reason.

Monkeyboy
12-18-2007, 11:26
Is your cup always half empty? :rolleyes:

Some people look at the glass and say it is half full...

Others look at the glass and say it is half empty....

I look at the glass and say "Who the hell's been drinking my water!"

:)

Monkeyboy
12-18-2007, 11:29
And the question and response was an honest one....

What did the AT teach me this year....that there are a whole lot of people concerned about keeping the outdoors clean, but not practicing what they preach.....

Our troop was practicing "Leave No Trace" and not only did we clean up after ourselves, but cleaned up a LOT of other people's trash.

Sorry, just being honest.....

WalkinHome
12-18-2007, 11:32
Give the AT:

Maintenance
Corridor Monitoring
Worktrip Ironmasters (Billville)
Teens To Trails support
Matc meetings
Public hearings
Privy work trips
Bog bridging work trip
Worktrip ALDHA Ironmasters
Hiker feeds/Billvile, PA & Billville, ME

Get back:

Rejuvenation (much like a trip to the ocean)
Much fellowship
Sense of ownership
A sense of coming home
Satisfaction helping all hikers
Much camaraderie
Feeling of pride
Plain satisfaction

That's my abbreviated list. The folks I interact with doing all of these things are a HUGE factor in my love of the trail and all that encompasses.

Ron Haven
12-18-2007, 11:42
I could write a book every year on the fun and exitement the trail brings with the thousands of new faces I encounter.The lots of old friends we get to see and the new friends we make.

When I encounter trash at a shelter or on the trail,I don't see it as a chance to complain.It is an opportunity then for me to give back to the trail.
All which will burn I donate to the fire ring.Most all of us carry a trash bag of some sort and I will carry it out to a trash can.This is small but it gives back to the trail and shows loyalty to the trail and our fellow hikers.

Those who trash the trail aren't hikers.Sadly they are loosers to start with in life who will have a hard time trying to fit in at whatever their destination in life is desired.

For every face I have met on the AT because it was there,to all the friends I have made because of the AT was there,the solitude of life that is there.

Thanks to all of you and the AT for the 2007 year and every other year in the past.Happy Holidays to all our WBers from all our family to yours,The Havens

Monkeyboy
12-18-2007, 11:47
I could write a book every year on the fun and exitement the trail brings with the thousands of new faces I encounter.The lots of old friends we get to see and the new friends we make.

When I encounter trash at a shelter or on the trail,I don't see it as a chance to complain.It is an opportunity then for me to give back to the trail.
All which will burn I donate to the fire ring.Most all of us carry a trash bag of some sort and I will carry it out to a trash can.This is small but it gives back to the trail and shows loyalty to the trail and our fellow hikers.

Those who trash the trail aren't hikers.Sadly they are loosers to start with in life who will have a hard time trying to fit in at whatever their destination in life is desired.

For every face I have met on the AT because it was there,to all the friends I have made because of the AT was there,the solitude of life that is there.

Thanks to all of you and the AT for the 2007 year and every other year in the past.Happy Holidays to all our WBers from all our family to yours,The Havens


Wasn't complaining....just making an observation.

As to burning the trash, if you follow LNT principles, you don't even do that.

I believe the ATC also states that trash should not be burnt, because it actually makes it harder to clean up burnt trash versus unburnt trash.


And Merry Christmas to you as well....

Smile
12-18-2007, 11:57
This year, the trail taught me to think about how I can better support the preserving of green spaces such as this. Whether a small donation, a letter to a politician, or an encouraging word to those on the 'front lines' defending the open spaces against development. Also, trail maintainers who give their time, and energy to making this trail a better place for hikers, and the ecosystem around it.

I hope never to see it turn into anything larger than a foot path for future generations to enjoy! :)

Thoughtful Owl
12-18-2007, 12:03
As the year of 2007 draws to a close in less than two weeks.What enjoyment,experience,or new outlooks on life did the AT bring you.

It was while hiking a section of the trail alone back in July, contemplating life and how bad my job sucked, that I decided to make a career change. In August I did it. Changed jobs and couldn't be happier and this job change will give me more time to spend on the trail doing maintaneous, hiking, providing trail magic or whatever. Ah....the time I spend on the trail....

Thoughtful Owl
12-18-2007, 12:14
[quote=HammockHooch;476420]Ask not what the AT did for you, ask what you can do for the AT. :D

Helped clear a section of down fall in the early spring. Made trips to shelters in my area to pick up trash left my others.

lunchbx
12-18-2007, 12:32
This year on the AT I learned to never bring a friend from home along with you on the trail, especially if you're from new jersey like I am. My extended trip with my friend from dirty Jerzey in different parts of the AT consisted of me yelling at him as if he was a child for throwing things wherever he pleased. This person would eat half of whatever he was eating and just toss it over his shoulder like an *******. Then fifteen minutes later he would complain about being hungry! After telling him that he should've eaten all of his food from before he would shrug his shoulders and open a candy bar or something else just tossing the wrapper wherever he pleased. Lesson learned for me, and let it be a lesson to the rest of you wanting to bring friends up to enjoy the beauty of the mountains. Dont do it! if someone wants to enjoy it then they will have to do it on thier own. My friends jokingly call me the crying indian because they cant understand my anger when they throw thier mcdonalds bag out the window on the turnpike. Or when i take them camping and end up having to scold them for thier careless actions.

Hooch
12-18-2007, 12:36
This year on the AT I learned to never bring a friend from home along with you on the trail, especially if you're from new jersey like I am. My extended trip with my friend from dirty Jerzey in different parts of the AT consisted of me yelling at him as if he was a child for throwing things wherever he pleased. This person would eat half of whatever he was eating and just toss it over his shoulder like an *******. Then fifteen minutes later he would complain about being hungry! After telling him that he should've eaten all of his food from before he would shrug his shoulders and open a candy bar or something else just tossing the wrapper wherever he pleased. Lesson learned for me, and let it be a lesson to the rest of you wanting to bring friends up to enjoy the beauty of the mountains. Dont do it! if someone wants to enjoy it then they will have to do it on thier own. My friends jokingly call me the crying indian because they cant understand my anger when they throw thier mcdonalds bag out the window on the turnpike. Or when i take them camping and end up having to scold them for thier careless actions. I'm no Leave No Trace fanatic, but that's just ridiculous. Pack it in, pack it out, very simple principle. Seems like you should have had a talk with your "friend" before you even left home to let him know about not cluttering up our precious outdoors.

D'Artagnan
12-18-2007, 12:39
The AT has shown me that I need to learn to enjoy the simpler things in life more. I, like many, had gotten so wrapped up in the idea that in order to be happy, I had to acquire material possessions. The nights I have spent on or around the AT have shown me that all I really need to be happy and enjoy LIFE are a warm place to sleep, a little food to eat, a little water to drink, and the company of good friends. I enjoyed some solo-hiking and the time it gave me to comtemplate my mortality and what legacy I will leave. The AT has helped me try to be a better person and to show the people I love how much they mean to me. It's also helped me approach strangers without a preconceived notion of who they are based solely on their outward appearance. God bless and keep the AT and all those who hold it in their hearts. Merry Christmas to all the WB'ers, too!

Pedaling Fool
12-18-2007, 12:41
This year on the AT I learned to never bring a friend from home along with you on the trail, especially if you're from new jersey like I am. My extended trip with my friend from dirty Jerzey in different parts of the AT consisted of me yelling at him as if he was a child for throwing things wherever he pleased. This person would eat half of whatever he was eating and just toss it over his shoulder like an *******. Then fifteen minutes later he would complain about being hungry! After telling him that he should've eaten all of his food from before he would shrug his shoulders and open a candy bar or something else just tossing the wrapper wherever he pleased. Lesson learned for me, and let it be a lesson to the rest of you wanting to bring friends up to enjoy the beauty of the mountains. Dont do it! if someone wants to enjoy it then they will have to do it on thier own. My friends jokingly call me the crying indian because they cant understand my anger when they throw thier mcdonalds bag out the window on the turnpike. Or when i take them camping and end up having to scold them for thier careless actions.
You could take this "friend" on a thru-hike, then write a book about it, it might even attract some movie producers.

Hooch
12-18-2007, 12:44
You could take this "friend" on a thru-hike, then write a book about it, it might even attract some movie producers.The AT Odd Couple?

Altared
12-18-2007, 12:54
After one year of researching, and 6 months of training my husband and I started in Amicalola Falls State Park and hiked to Fontana Dam. It was the most awesome experience of my life. In May, I am doing the Smokys with my husband and brother, and when school ends in June my husband and I will contine from Davenport Gap to Damascus, then in July our 21 yr old daughter joins us.
I met the most amazing people on the way, including Ron, and realized incredible satisfaction in meeting each challange along the way.
When I try to describe it to "outsiders" my eyes glaze over; I am looking back on the trail we have already done, or forward to what we will do.
I literally think about it all the time, and have read the upcoming sections so many times, I feel like I have already been there. I dream all night, every night about hiking and I wake up tired.
I am hooked. I can't wait to retire to thru-hike.

lunchbx
12-18-2007, 12:55
we really are a hiking odd-couple but i just dont think i could go on another hike with this kid. though if it means being able to write a book about it and making enough money to be able to hike the rest of my life then maybe its worth it. ive actually taken 2 different friends out and had the same problem of having to yell at them like a fed up parent. ive come to understand though that no talk before hand would solve this. this is something that comes from a lifetime of wasteful, urban living. unless you were lucky enough to have had the right mentoring as a child I.E. scouts, and just the plain common sense to not destroy your natural surroundings then there is nothing anyone can say or do to change your mind. sucks but its the plain old truth.

lunchbx
12-18-2007, 12:56
Actually i wonder if anyone else has had experiences like this trying to introduce people to the trail. Should i start a new thread?

dessertrat
12-18-2007, 13:17
You could take this "friend" on a thru-hike, then write a book about it, it might even attract some movie producers.

Oh, yeah, that's right, Katz did that a lot, didn't he? And Bill Bryson mentions nothing about correcting him, or picking up the trash.

To me it is the most mindless thing ever. I think people get a petty thrill from littering, or something? I saw a guy on the beltway in Virginia, rolling along at about 10 miles per hour in traffic, power down the passenger side window and pitch his McDonald's cup and bag out onto the side of the road. Like he couldn't wait to find a trashcan the next time he stopped for gas?

rafe
12-18-2007, 13:22
To me it is the most mindless thing ever. I think people get a petty thrill from littering, or something? I saw a guy on the beltway in Virginia, rolling along at about 10 miles per hour in traffic, power down the passenger side window and pitch his McDonald's cup and bag out onto the side of the road. Like he couldn't wait to find a trashcan the next time he stopped for gas?

That kinda crap gets me pretty angry too. It's just so mindless and inconsiderate. But I don't really know what to do about it.

One day a few years back I was stuck in traffic behind an opened drawbridge (in Gloucester, MA, where I lived.) The guy in front of me tossed a ciggy butt out the window. Since we were both stopped... I got out of my car, picked up his still-smoking ciggy butt, and threw it back in his window. :D

D'Artagnan
12-18-2007, 13:43
That kinda crap gets me pretty angry too. It's just so mindless and inconsiderate. But I don't really know what to do about it.

One day a few years back I was stuck in traffic behind an opened drawbridge (in Gloucester, MA, where I lived.) The guy in front of me tossed a ciggy butt out the window. Since we were both stopped... I got out of my car, picked up his still-smoking ciggy butt, and threw it back in his window. :D

I would have paid to see the look on his face. :D:D

sasquatch2014
12-18-2007, 13:49
I ended my period of mourning the move back to the east coast from the Rockies by getting out on the trail. Most of the summer I ran water up to the local shelter as the stream was dry. I also recently became a maintainer for a section of trail near my house. I guess its the simplicity of it all that I am learing to enjoy. I sell real estate for a living and it is nice to see someone happy with just a liter of fresh water rather than looking at a million dollar home and complain becasue it doesn't have radiant heat in the entry hall.

Blissful
12-18-2007, 13:56
I'd need a book to answer this one. :)

Hiking the AT was one of the greatest things I have done with my life, next to my Christianity, marrying my honey and having my son. There are so many things to say about it and how it impacted my life. The beauty of creation was awesome to behold, the beauty of the people we met on the trail and who held down the fort at home was truly inspiring, the ability to get a handle on my fear and to set one's sights on a goal and not give in, no matter how bad it gets shows a strength you don't know you have. It shows too how you can handle things when back here on the homefront. When I am faced with a challenge or situation here I think of the huge challenges faced on the AT and I can say - awe, this is small potatoes.

the_iceman
12-18-2007, 14:24
It taught me that the world is not full of a-holes, jerks and people who only care about themselves.

It taught me that there are still Americans who are proud of what we have.

It taught me that people can still care about their neighbors.

It taught me people can have a discussion or a debate and not have to HATE one another just becasue they have different opinions.

It taught me that all of the "good" people are mostly out hiking that is why we don't see too many in society anymore.

It reminded me of the movie "Escape from New York". We should just wall off the cities.

It made me think of George Hayduke. Does anyone have a houseboat for sale?

rafe
12-18-2007, 14:27
It reminded me of the movie "Escape from New York". We should just wall off the cities.

Yeah, we all know the Internet was invented in Duncannon PA. :rolleyes:

the_iceman
12-18-2007, 14:49
I know he is the father of the internet and he created the al-gore-rhythm which was the final solution to packet-routing over a wide-area-network.

I also know his hot air has contributed to global warming but I never knew he lived in Duncannon, PA. :D

maxNcathy
12-18-2007, 14:50
Thanks, AT for being there for us...thanks to your developers and volunteers who maintain you.

Thanks to the wonderful hikers that I
met this past spring...Springer to north of HotSprings.

Thanks to hostels and Inns and motels that make us hikers feel so welcome.Thanks to all the super nice men and women who provide free or low cost shuttles.

Sorry I missed you, Ron as I passed through Franklin. You were away helping someone as I recall.

The AT experience was one of finding myself feeling like I like to feel..free and friendly and very natural.

Blessings, happy holidays, inner peace and joy on the trails and thru trials ahead.

I shall return.

Sandalwood

Jaybird62
12-18-2007, 14:50
I did a 20 mile nobo out and back starting at Pen-Mar. The first night I stayed at Tumbling Run Shelter. I was impressed with how clean and neat the place was. I had a chance to meet the caretaker and you could sense how much he loved his "job" They even had firewood stacked up under the shelter. It seems like every time I venture out onto the trail, I always end up meeting "real" people-people that care about others and this beautiful world in which we live.

Footslogger
12-18-2007, 14:54
As the year of 2007 draws to a close in less than two weeks.What enjoyment,experience,or new outlooks on life did the AT bring you.

===================================

Our section hike from Rangeley to Monson and then a celebratory summit of Katahdin in August was the highlight of this year.

No new outlooks ...other than confirming our interest in backpacking and in the AT.

'Slogger

dessertrat
12-18-2007, 15:33
===================================

Our section hike from Rangeley to Monson and then a celebratory summit of Katahdin in August was the highlight of this year.

No new outlooks ...other than confirming our interest in backpacking and in the AT.

'Slogger

Slogger, I gotta ask-- with all the great hiking out there in Wyoming. . . do you ever feel tempted to forget all about the AT? I know it's different betwen the West and the East. . . maybe the grass is always greener on the other side.

Footslogger
12-18-2007, 16:00
Slogger, I gotta ask-- with all the great hiking out there in Wyoming. . . do you ever feel tempted to forget all about the AT? I know it's different betwen the West and the East. . . maybe the grass is always greener on the other side.

========================================

Probably has a lot to do with where I grew up and my base of reference and in this case, some "unfinished business". Funny you should use the "grass is greener" analogy because as a kid my entire vision of hiking was "green" if you know what I mean. I'm not a mountain/rock climber per se so my misguided youthful perception of backpacking out west was always about "brown" and "barren".

But back to your question. My wife (BadAss Turtle - AT 2001) was unable to finish her thru due to injury and other complications. I was fortunate enough to make it end2end in 2003 and that always stuck in her craw. Over the past 3 - 4 years we have gone back east to knock out sections she missed so that she could write the final chapter in her AT journey. This past August we finished her final missing section (Rangeley to Monson) and thought it only fitting that we jump up and climb Katahdin one more time.

So, that's it in a nutshell. Yes ...the west, and Wyoming in particular, has some absolutely spectacular backpacking and now that we have both sucessfully hiked the entire AT it is time for us to turn our attention to the western (backyard) trails. In that regard, if all goes as planned I should be standing at Campo facing north in April 2009, ready to undertake a PCT thru. Once that's taken care of I would imagine the CDT bug will bite me.

All that said though and despite the raw beauty of the western trails, the AT will always be first in my mind when I think back on my accomplishments. For me it was "Living the Dream" that got planted inside this warped brain of mine at about age 11. Plus ...the wife and I would like someday (we're talking about 2010) to hike the AT again - - but this time TOGETHER !!

Sorry for the long winded post ...but you asked.

'Slogger

dessertrat
12-18-2007, 16:06
========================================


Sorry for the long winded post ...but you asked.

'Slogger

And I was glad to find out. Which is why I asked, of course.

The photos of been seeing of the JMT and the Wind River Range look fantastic. It's the travel that would be difficult to arrange-- the AT is, relatively speaking, right in my backyard, and of course has charms of its own. Not better or worse, but certainly different.

tazie
12-18-2007, 16:08
Gives me hope, solace,and an escape from the day-to-day grind. My best hiking friend took me out a few years ago(first time on the AT)and we day-hiked the Wash Monument to Pine Knob section...it was so nice..and when she pointed out the white blazes and said "you can follow those all the way to Maine", I was captivated. Still am.. and still hope to do that one day. I've hiked all of the Maryland section. I'm out there every chance I get. I take my kids out and my reluctant friends...and then pass on the knowledge and wisdom that was told to me...and I think that's the best gift I can give back right now. And yes, a big thanks to all the hard workers, volunteers and communities that make the AT a place to enjoy.

Lone Wolf
12-18-2007, 16:12
What enjoyment,experience,or new outlooks on life did the AT bring you.

The AT brought me to Dot's most days this year. Except when I blue-blazed there on the Creeper Trail

Hooch
12-18-2007, 16:30
The AT brought me to Dot's most days this year. Going back to my limited knowledge of Trail places, etc, what is Dot's?

Jack Tarlin
12-18-2007, 17:00
Not being committed to hiking the whole Trail can be very liberating.

I took more side trails and blue blazes this year than I'd ever done. I saw waterfalls I'd never seen; camped at places I'd always managed to miss; took zero days in the woods instead of in town. I didn't have to worry about a schedule or keeping to one because I didn't have one.

It was great.

One can have a great time by passing every blaze, hitting every mark, and hiking every yard of the Trail.

Been there, done that.

Took me awhile to realize that one can have a great time by deliberately NOT doing this, too. Some of the best experiences one can have on an Appalachian Trail trip aren't necessarily on the Appalachian Trail.

Oh, and I got to skip most of Pennsylvania!

Shoulda figured THAT one out awhile ago! :D

Lone Wolf
12-18-2007, 17:18
Going back to my limited knowledge of Trail places, etc, what is Dot's?

Dot's is the Damascus version of Cheers. It's right on the AT

Lone Wolf
12-18-2007, 17:20
Not being committed to hiking the whole Trail can be very liberating.

I took more side trails and blue blazes this year than I'd ever done. I saw waterfalls I'd never seen; camped at places I'd always managed to miss; took zero days in the woods instead of in town.

Took me awhile to realize that one can have a great time by deliberately NOT doing this, too. Some of the best experiences one can have on an Appalachian Trail trip aren't necessarily on the Appalachian Trail.


welcome to my world :)

Hooch
12-18-2007, 17:25
Dot's is the Damascus version of Cheers. It's right on the ATThanks for the answer, for some reason or another I thought it may be a watering hole of some sort. I'll have to stop in for a cold one if I ever make it that way. Hope that have a decent Sam Adams selection. Does that make you the Damascus version of Norm? "Wolf!" :D

Smile
12-18-2007, 17:27
I went into Dots over trail days, definately like "cheers" ( so smoky!) Cold beer and juke box with great tunes in it. :)

D'Artagnan
12-18-2007, 17:29
Thanks for the answer, for some reason or another I thought it may be a watering hole of some sort. I'll have to stop in for a cold one if I ever make it that way. Hope that have a decent Sam Adams selection. Does that make you the Damascus version of Norm? "Wolf!" :D

Question is, who here would be "Cliff"? :D

Digger'02
12-18-2007, 17:30
it gave me my dreamjob! and as a result, I got to see hundreds of hikers and volunteers caring for the trail. thats satisfaction!

Hooch
12-18-2007, 17:31
Question is, who here would be "Cliff"? :DI do believe that's a loaded question. I'll take the safe answer and say me. :datz

Mags
12-18-2007, 18:35
How about what one did for the AT this year.

A bit too far away. I did trail work in Colorado though.

I think every hiker (and outdoors person in general) should do some sort of trail (or restoration) work.

Every place in the country has open space, local parks, bike trails, etc. that could use a hand for a day or more.

OK..off my soap box. :)

The AT is directly responsible for my current life. I can honestly say if it was not for the AT I would not have had the courage to leave my homestate and start a new life in Colorado.


The life I have lead in since 1998 has been something I would not have imagined growing up the way I did back in Rhody.

As 2008 approaches, I think iof that first step I took off of Springer Mountain almost ten years ago. It lead not only north to Katahdin, but also to the life I lead now.

Ron Haven
12-18-2007, 20:54
The AT brought me to Dot's most days this year. Except when I blue-blazed there on the Creeper TrailPirate uses that same route to Dot's also don't he?

Lone Wolf
12-18-2007, 20:55
yup. sure does.

Crazy Larry #1
12-18-2007, 20:59
The AT brought to me a whole new slew of friends, and right to my front porch............

wilconow
12-18-2007, 21:48
It was the second day of my Vermont section hike. I started the morning in utter silence and peace at Griffith Lake and enjoyed easy strolls around Baker Peak, Big Branch and Little Rock Pond.

A couple days before July 4th and I met all kinds of hikers. Everyone from kids to a retired couple seemed a little dissapointed when I say "No, I'm not a thru-hiker. I'm only out for a week".

At Around 6pm and I got to Greenwall Shelter. On my first long trip I thought there wouldn't be any distractions and I push myself for the 20 mile days. After 16 or so miles and a blue blaze right in front of you, it's rather tempting to forget about that. I paused for a second and realized that I'm fresh, the weather is calm, there's daylight left, hell I could even turn on my i-pod. The hiking had been TOO easy.

Off I went. Right away I met a tired and frustrated couple going north who couldn't wait to get to Greenwall. Should I be happy that I wasn't staying with them or take that as a sign not to push myself? Well, up Bear Mountain I went. After flat walking all day, a good climb is energy given and received.

Coming down the mountain, I didn't notice much around me. My music was going. I didn't take the easy way out. I was plowing through the trail.

Twilight. A few road crossings and stalks as big as me. Yeah, I'm almost at 20 miles but it's getting dark. No more day hikers around. Where's the shelter?

I get to some intersection and a sign that I could barely read at first said Shelter a few miles away. Angry, I take a closer look at the sign and it says Minerva Hickley shelter straight ahead. Ahh, hot food and my sleeping bag.

I hear rustling around and poke inside. These Long Trailers have their tents set up inside. Confused, I brush it aside. I just backpacked twenty miles for the first time. No problem, the weather is fine, I'll tent. Who needs a shelter.

As I'm cooking my dinner, the rain comes. Maybe I was so tired, but I didn't see it coming at all. My stuff is everywhere. There's no time or energy to get mad. Gather everything and eat in the vestibule.

After I devour my food, I start to go through my stuff and realize some of my gear got muddy and wet. If I wasn't alone, I would've have had help covering everything. Should I curse the hikers who just had to set up their tent in the shelter?

Nah. I just hiked twenty miles. I can take some extra time in the morning to let things dry out. Time for sleep...

The Whistlestop Cafe. While enjoying a Cheeseburger Club, the Long Trailers tell me they set up the tent because of Mosquitios. They felt bad that I was out in the rain. I didn't mind; everything was dry now. You climb up, you go down, you get wet, you get dry.

excuses
12-18-2007, 22:13
I sectioned 106 miles. Had plans for more but family and work calls loudly. Forgot over the years how rewarding it is on the trail. More in '08

BitBucket
12-18-2007, 22:17
As the year of 2007 draws to a close in less than two weeks.What enjoyment,experience,or new outlooks on life did the AT bring you.
It taught me that I shouldn't have waited 50 years to begin to enjoy the trail.

I worked like a dog for the past 30 years without taking time to explore what the trail had to offer. The past 3 years I've spent really enjoying the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and the GA section of the AT. Why did I wait so long???

For you folks out there contemplating a day hike, a section hike, or a thru hike while you are young....DO IT NOW, rather than wait until later when you think you will have more time, money, or what ever.

Do what you can to connect with the trail while you are young. It will bless you beyond measure throughout your life and open up countless opportunities to meet really good people who by their random acts of kindness (trail angels) will leave a lasting impression on you.

Once you've spent time with the trail, your life and your relationships with others won't be the same.

Thanks go out to all of you who have gone before me and to those that help all of us while we are on the trail.

I have walked in your footsteps and now better understand that "the Journey is the reward".

Best wishes for 2008 and I hope all that start the journey find the riches that the trail has to offer...

....the mountains are calling....and I must go....

Chaco Taco
12-18-2007, 22:27
Wow, the AT saved me this year. Helped me with dealing with a bad relationship. Hiked 120 miles and finally decided to go for the whole thing. Hopefully this time next year, Ill be nearing the end of my wait. Also, I hope I get to meet some hikers this year. I have been kinda solo this year.

WILLIAM HAYES
12-18-2007, 22:28
After section hiking the trail for the last five years I guess the main thing I have learned is how to really appreciate what a fantastic resource we have in the AT and the great debt of gratitude we owe to all of the trail clubs and countless volunteers that give up so much time to make sure this resource is preserved for us all.My hats off to all of you who volunteer your time and effort to make the trail what it is today.

Hillbilly

Nyati40
12-18-2007, 23:00
The trail taught me at 41 that Iím still able and that God is good. The people on the trail are some of the most genuine folks in the world and they make mighty good companions around a camp fire. Bears Den Hostel is a little slice of heaven on earth and the staff welcomes you with open arms and a warm smile. The pizza aint bad and the Ben and Jerryís is even better, and a hot shower after a few days on the trail is a blessing. The trail also taught me that the warning signs at the beginning of the roller-coaster are good for a chuckle and itís great strolling into Harperís Ferry. Gonna start at Hot Springs, VA at the end of March and put in a few, absolutely canít wait.

pitdog
12-18-2007, 23:04
It made me want to do it again,once faster, and one again very slow.

Alligator
12-18-2007, 23:10
This year the trail taught me that I really can eat a large pizza by myself.

T-Dubs
12-18-2007, 23:16
As the year of 2007 draws to a close in less than two weeks.What enjoyment,experience,or new outlooks on life did the AT bring you.

I didn't hike the first mile on the AT this year but it was my inspiration to get in shape, lose 35 pounds and get geared up for a few miles in '08. That 4' long map is on the wall of my weight room.

TWS

Jim Adams
12-19-2007, 01:40
Slogger, I gotta ask-- with all the great hiking out there in Wyoming. . . do you ever feel tempted to forget all about the AT? I know it's different betwen the West and the East. . . maybe the grass is always greener on the other side.



Made me realize that the PCT, although beautiful can never compare to The Appalachian Trail.....


...NEVER!

geek

rafe
12-19-2007, 06:49
Made me realize that the PCT, although beautiful can never compare to The Appalachian Trail.....


...NEVER!

Curious why you say that, Geek. :-?

nitewalker
12-19-2007, 08:23
well this was a year in which i set off on several different hikes along the AT: short section hikes with no hiking partner and in different areas. i did the area from hot springs south[60mi]back in march. i was able to hike the shenandoahs at the end of october[ met 11 wonderful sobo's]75mi]. i was able to hike the stretch of the AT from rte 302 up crawford path to the summitt of washington and back down through the dry river wilderness back to crawford path then 302. i did the franconia ridge loop hike 2 different times one i incorporated the bondcliff loop. also did a stretch of the florida trail back in march...

i didnt do alot of long duration hiking but most of these trips were 2 to 5 day trips. the AT has taught me to do want you want in life because if you keep puting things off they may not be there to do later and if they are we may not be capable of doing them later. the AT is a very realistic dream for most of us to accomplish. if you want it get out and do it. you will always meet people that you consider friends for the rest of your life. take what it gives you and enjoy it.....peace out , nitewalker:D

Mags
12-19-2007, 11:21
Made me realize that the PCT, although beautiful can never compare to The Appalachian Trail.....






None of the trails can compare to one another. They are all wonderful, gorgeous and satifying in their own unique way. Just my opinion anyway.

A-Train
12-19-2007, 11:37
None of the trails can compare to one another. They are all wonderful, gorgeous and satifying in their own unique way. Just my opinion anyway.

Bingo. It may be cliche' but comparing trails is like comparing your children. Each one has their own qualities, strong-points, challenges, great memories, etc. But they are all so different there is no merit or point to comparing them. They are all just to be enjoyed and celebrated.

Summit
12-19-2007, 16:27
- It brought me into the acquaintance of one Ron Havens! (who shuttled me to Dick's Creek Gap after a night in his motel)
- This 67 mile hike from Dick's Creek to NOC (Wesser) allowed me to retrace my first backpacking steps 34 years earlier.
- Helped me appreciate my Lord and Savior and His awesome Creation!
- Taught me the virtues of patience, persistence, and the humility that comes with dealing with an aging body.
- Taught me that I'm not too old (yet) to enjoy backpacking.
- Gave me a greater appreciation, while alone, for my beloved wife, children, family, and dog! :)

maxNcathy
12-19-2007, 17:55
Lone Wolf was at the bar with Gypsy when Cathy and I ate there this spring...the day I forgot my darn(precious) hat in the booth.

LW if you see my teal colored OR cap around town phone me..my number is written under the peak of the cap.

Lone Wolf
12-19-2007, 17:57
Lone Wolf was at the bar with Gypsy when Cathy and I ate there this spring...the day I forgot my darn(precious) hat in the booth.

LW if you see my teal colored OR cap around town phone me..my number is written under the peak of the cap.

i'm going to dot's in a few minutes. i'll ask if she has it in the back

maxNcathy
12-19-2007, 18:04
i'm going to dot's in a few minutes. i'll ask if she has it in the back

Okay, thanks, LW.

(pm me if phone number blurry)

BigStu
12-19-2007, 18:18
Quite a different view of what the AT did for me this year.

I have read WB over the past week or so and an in awe of the levels of knowledge and experience that clearly exist with the WB 'regulars'

What's the AT done for me then ?

I came to the USA for the first time this year, was taken up along the Blue Ridge Parkway, saw information here and there about hiking in the area and decided that if I came back to the USA then I would get out there and walk and make the most of my time.

Friends here and my new friends in Virginia said 'Well, the AT is just over there'. I had read Walk In The Woods but the more I thought and read about the reality of the Trail the more I wanted to walk even a small part of it.

So.. to answer the question the AT has made me get off my lazy fat a*se (that ass for you folks, I believe :p ) and improve my fitness, learn loads, get out into the hills and recover a bit of sanity.

Jim Adams
12-19-2007, 18:21
Curious why you say that, Geek. :-?

When I want to see the most beautiful photos that I've ever shot, I will look at the PCT photos.

When I want to hike and have a great time I will go to the AT.

The PCT, while very pretty is just so different than the AT that as stated, you really can't compare them.
The desert wears you out and burns you out on hiking.
I still can't believe that I hiked areas that I had to carry 8-9 liters of water.
The scale is so immense that at times it is difficult to comprehend but when you can see the next 50 milles that you are hiking, it can seem as though you will never get there day after day after day.
The switchbacks although never steep can drive you crazy. What may be a short steep 1/2 hour climb on the AT can turn into a 3 mile out and back on the PCT just to gain or lose 150'.
Seems as though you will never get out of California.
Finally, IMO, the PCT is just too long to enjoy as a thru hike. It seems as though you never have the time to just take off and enjoy any given spot.

I love hiking and totally enjoy thru hiking the AT but to me, there is just too much bulls**t with the PCT. I want to go see what I missed out there but I will go on my motorcycle and use it to travel by road to all of the pretty spots and then hike in and spend 2 or 3 days exploring the area and then ride to the next spot.
Everyone should get to see how beautiful it is out west but IMO it can't compare with the enjoyment of thru hiking the AT.

geek

Programbo
12-19-2007, 19:33
The trail taught me that no matter how hectic life gets or how much stress or worry comes my way that there is one place I can always go where that doesn`t exist...To me the trail is a time machine back to a simpler time in my life..Although there have been a few re-routes the majority of the AT in Maryland and Southern PA still looks exactly as it did when I hiked it regularly as a teen..When I go up there it`s as if all the years and hardship and horror that has come and gone in the 35 years in between just slips away and for a brief moment that sense of wonder and happiness I felt back then returns..It`s like in Harpers Ferry..There are minor changes but for the most part it looks and feels exactly as it did 35 years ago and for just a little while I am not 50 years old with a bad heart..I am that carefree young soul who looked up at the mountains and felt free

Lone Wolf
12-19-2007, 19:48
Lone Wolf was at the bar with Gypsy when Cathy and I ate there this spring...the day I forgot my darn(precious) hat in the booth.

LW if you see my teal colored OR cap around town phone me..my number is written under the peak of the cap.

sorry. no hat.

maxNcathy
12-19-2007, 19:55
sorry. no hat.

Thanks for checking it out, LW

Nokia
12-20-2007, 03:09
My first year without the trail has taught me how much I miss you all!!! Happy Holidays. Oh and if Jack can quit smoking so can I.

warraghiyagey
12-20-2007, 03:14
The trail taught me the same thing two years in a row. . . I need to go back.:) :) :)
MOBSTERS SOBO8

rafe
12-20-2007, 10:39
The trail taught me the same thing two years in a row. . .

I guess there's a lot of us slow learners on this site. Hop on the bus. The short bus, that is.

Ron Haven
12-23-2007, 01:16
I guess there's a lot of us slow learners on this site. Hop on the bus. The short bus, that is.Your doing fine.If you come blundering into Winging Stair Gap in Mar or Apr I'll give you a ride on my short bus.:)

Almost There
12-23-2007, 02:22
The trail taught me that every year the downhills get worse on my knees!

quietly
12-23-2007, 03:33
Not being committed to hiking the whole Trail can be very liberating.

I took more side trails and blue blazes this year than I'd ever done. I saw waterfalls I'd never seen; camped at places I'd always managed to miss; took zero days in the woods instead of in town. I didn't have to worry about a schedule or keeping to one because I didn't have one.

It was great.

One can have a great time by passing every blaze, hitting every mark, and hiking every yard of the Trail.

Been there, done that.

Took me awhile to realize that one can have a great time by deliberately NOT doing this, too. Some of the best experiences one can have on an Appalachian Trail trip aren't necessarily on the Appalachian Trail.

Oh, and I got to skip most of Pennsylvania!

Shoulda figured THAT one out awhile ago! :D

Amen to that.. I hit the AT twice this past year I think; I enjoyed a near zero day after hiking the AT a short distance from Fontana dam to Fontana village, then taking a speed boat shuttle to Hazel Creek. Also covered some AT after hiking Twenty Mile up to Sassafras Gap, then down to the dam (stopping at Shuckstack Tower). The wonderful showers at the Fontana Visitor's Center aside, myself and my hiking partner both pretty much decided we've seen enough of most of the GSMNP AT, the side trails are far more interesting. I prefer those 900 miles to the AT's 2000. However the park is in my back yard, so your mileage may vary :)

Skits
12-23-2007, 04:59
All I can think of when I see this thread title is:

"Don't ask what your AT has done for you, ask what you can do for your AT"

This year all the AT has done for me is make it extremely difficult to work as my thoughts keep wandering off to my upcoming hike, beginning on Feb. 11 (only 50 days away!).

Skits
12-23-2007, 05:02
Of course I wish I could just go back and delete posts when I actually read a thread and see what I posted as already been said by at least one previous person.

Just Jeff
12-23-2007, 09:39
The AT gave me a chance to meet a lot of the folks (http://www.tothewoods.net/HikingPicturesMtRogers.html) I talk to on WB and HF. It's amazing - all these words I read on the screen come from real live people!

Gives me someplace to go when I'm at work and don't want to be.

And it gives me a goal to make it through to retirement (10 years away!) so I can live it, rather than just a few days here and there.

rafe
12-23-2007, 11:08
Your doing fine.If you come blundering into Winging Stair Gap in Mar or Apr I'll give you a ride on my short bus.:)

Ron, I appreciate the offer, but most likely won't have an opportunity to accept. I sectioned the southern stretch of the AT way back when... and I doubt I'll be doing it a second time. There are some trail angels and heroes (yourself among them, I gather) who weren't around when I was schlepping my way along that part of the AT. Or, if you were around, you hadn't achieved your current notoriety. ;)

buckowens
12-23-2007, 13:47
My association with the AT helped cement the fact that family is EVERYTHING, and time spent with them in the woods is priceless.

wakapak
12-23-2007, 14:20
This year, i realized that even though i thought i was beyond the AT addiction (HA!), I'm not.....I didn't really get out there much this year due to life being a little crazier than normal, however I did come to the realization that once the AT is in your life, it's in your blood.
Like many people have already stated, I've found great friend thru the AT, met wonderful people, and it truly has renewed my thoughts on mankind (i know, sounds cheesy but it's true). Every time I start thinking that people are only out for themselves in this world, i only have to remember my time spent on the trail, or come on WB and read about you all helping each other and it reminds me that there is goodness in this crazy world!!
i'm also starting to come to the realization that i need to live closer to the mountains and the people they bring....

Terry7
12-23-2007, 14:42
This was my first year hiking. I did 1000 miles in 5 months. [I was taking my time] I left South Florida to find a new home and to be closer to my LORD. I understand now why those old time Bible guys would go out in the mountians to seek GOD. I also found a great new home, Damascus Va. When the weather warms up I will be on the trail again but I hope to always come back to Damascus.

Ron Haven
12-23-2007, 23:33
Ron, I appreciate the offer, but most likely won't have an opportunity to accept. I sectioned the southern stretch of the AT way back when... and I doubt I'll be doing it a second time. There are some trail angels and heroes (yourself among them, I gather) who weren't around when I was schlepping my way along that part of the AT. Or, if you were around, you hadn't achieved your current notoriety. ;)I started in Feb 14,2000 :)

Bare Bear
12-24-2007, 00:01
The best thing about the TRAIL anywhere is that is something different to everyone. That makes each TRAIL unique and the experience unique. I have done some long parts of the AT three times now (including 2006 thru) and it was different each time and I treasure the memories.

Bare Bear
12-24-2007, 00:03
And I got to meet Ms Tillie before she passed...................and intend to stay at the hostel when I hike that way again, I feel certain she will be there watching and enjoying the hikers as always.

rafe
12-24-2007, 00:07
I started in Feb 14,2000 :)

... about ten years late, for me anyway. ;)

Patrickjd9
12-24-2007, 15:24
The trail taught me the same thing two years in a row. . . I need to go back.:) :) :)
That makes two of us:D.

The AT taught me this year that I could begin backpacking again after about a decade away and several false starts.

I got my ass kicked just south of the Smokies hauling my out of shape body on a 4 day hike turned 3 day by lack of water--but I did it.

I have another week out on the AT planned in May with the same group.

The Doctor
12-24-2007, 23:40
This year really showed me how the extreme of weather can affect you when on the trail. After almost experiencing hypothermia while hiking w/ whitefoot_hp this past winter I turned around and did a midsummer hike in August in the smokies and had hallucinations from overheating and dehydration. I learned overall that skimping on clothes to loghten your load in the winter is a bad idea and that skipping a water in the drought of summer during the worst heat wave of that particular summer in order to lighten your load is also a terrible idea. But the AT also did wonders for my anxiety about school. I also made a few new hiking buddies and had a great time working with the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club as I became a member this year. Only wisdom and insight have come from this trail (for me at least).

Ron Haven
12-30-2007, 23:55
As all the A T has done for us all,The memories for 2007,They will all be leaving us today 12/31/07 - Remember to write your dates 2008 and I hope all will be looking forward to what the New Year of 2008 brings us.Best wishes to all.;)

mark.k.watson
12-31-2007, 11:41
What did the AT do for me this year? Well, I took my first steps on the AT this year. After years of hearing, off and on, about this storied trail, I had the opportunity to hike a bit of it. After my first day hike on it, the approach trail to Springer Mtn Shelter, I was HOOKED. I hiked a couple more day hikes on it and then Springer to Neels Gap, confirming that the AT calls me. Now I am planning a 2009 thru hike with my wife. Needless to say the AT bug bit me hard right on the keester.

Landshark
12-31-2007, 15:57
It's cliche, but it works for me.... by the end of the summer, I was feeling,

"If I can deal with A, I can deal with B."

For A, insert: Annoying Bear, backpacking alone, climbing mountains with a full pack, planning a section hike and doing it

For B, insert: annoying coworkers, difficult situations at work, bills, planning a wedding

The Scribe
12-31-2007, 16:09
As the year of 2007 draws to a close in less than two weeks.What enjoyment,experience,or new outlooks on life did the AT bring you.


In hiking terms it was a poor year. I got off to a great start with an overnight on the Maine coast in April (million dollar campsite on a bluff overlooking the ocean).

But thanks to the AT for TrailDays in May, and the WB weekend in Monson in Sept.

I resolve for it to be a better hiking year in 2008.