View Full Version : A Beginning Beginner

Jersey Bob
03-05-2004, 17:08
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03-05-2004, 17:54
>>Has anyone, once hooked, ever just stopped being consumed by the desire to be on the trail? Or is this now a lifelong addiction I've gotten into?

Not once hooked. But Bryson's concerns not withstanding, no one has been consumed by anthing else on the trail either. Not even in the DWG ;-).

Have a good hike. I remember taking an excellent day hike loop there a few years ago which included some of the AT, a nice pond and a cool overlook of the river. With fond memories of that day, I might suggest that you not leave bags of chips and marshmellos on the back seat of your car at the trailhead like I did.

Rick B

03-05-2004, 17:57
I became consumed by the AT last March, a year ago. I was in Gatlinburg and saw an AT sign while hiking another trail and it rekindled an old childhood dream. Since then I've fed my addiction by coming to Whiteblaze each day. I managed my first section hike last Nov. and got in 55 miles, (Thanks Rainman!). It's a magnificent obsession....

03-05-2004, 18:27
Hey, Jersey Bob! You've been bitten by the AT bug!

It's a strange obsession. I was bitten by the bug as a child, but (kind of like lyme disease) it resurfaced later in life. I thought a thru-hike would get it out of my system, but I think it just nourished it.

Have a great hike. I predict more AT adventures in your future. :)


Jersey Bob
03-05-2004, 21:04
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Jersey Bob
03-05-2004, 21:11
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03-06-2004, 11:29
It's a life long addiction. It's a healty addiction. You wouldn't believe what a marvelous life my son has had since his thruhike in 2000. I got bit when we camped with him at Amicalola State Park the night before his start and saw the excitement, nervousness and anticipation he was going through, and I became addicted when I saw the look in his eye after summiting Katadin. Now in 2005 it's our turn. It's taken us 4 years to extract ourselves from the traditional way of life. But once bitten we had to do whatever was necessary to go follow the dream. White Blaze has been the greatest site to help me learn as I bide my time. You will find a way to hike more.

03-07-2004, 03:02
I don't know if it's lifelong but it seems to be for many people. I have always felt a connection to the trail, it's been going on 12 years now, and even living in another country I've already tried to figure out when I can get back and do another 6-700 miles haha.

However my friend thru-hiked the AT in 1994,1995...thru-hiked the PCT in 1996, then the CDT in 1997...and never picked up a pack again, but I think that's the rarity.

steve hiker
03-07-2004, 04:44
Yeah Jersey Bob it's an obsession and you can do it, just watch out as I found out when doing the Jersey section ...

there are these trailside bars where you'll go at night and the girls are real friendly and will invite you home but just watch out, somma them gurls got real bad clamp :eek:

Kozmic Zian
03-07-2004, 17:52
Yea......Obsession? I think so. I hiked some of the Trail in the Smokies when I was a boy, we're talkin' 1952-3. It was fasinating then and just as fasinating now, 50years later, even after a Thru-Hike. I think the Thru Hike just fueled the fire. Now, what was once a fasination is now a total obsession. Good Hiking to [email protected]
__________________________________________________ _________________________

Some Folks Drink From the Fountain Of Knowledge......Others Just Gargle. Unknown

03-07-2004, 17:59
Welcome to being hooked! Part 1: Get hooked Part 2: Take action... I got hooked as a kid but finally this year taking action and starting my section hike of the AT. I am doing CT so I will be passing by where you first encountered the AT.

03-07-2004, 18:27
When will you be going thu CT?
Maybe I'll run into you. I plan to do Vt. line to NJ. line this year.
I was out today at ten mile river lean-to . Beautiful day here.

03-07-2004, 20:03
The A.T. hooks anyone and everyone that is 1st interested in nature and 2nd interested in athletic activities. I had no idea about the A.T. until about 3.5-4 years ago and in 2002 took my first steps on her from Springer to Neels Gap. From that point on, I've been trying to set my life up to take a thru-hike, perhaps in fours years, we'll see.
I'm not "hiker trash" (I mean this as descriptive only, not bashing anyone), I'm a "city girl" but the A.T. bug has bitten. I've have enjoyed meeting great people on the trail and at hiking clubs. and I think that the A.T. is a great unifier of all people.
Good luck to you, enjoy hiking!

03-07-2004, 20:35
When will you be going thu CT?
Maybe I'll run into you. I plan to do Vt. line to NJ. line this year.
I was out today at ten mile river lean-to . Beautiful day here.

I am starting at the NY/CT line and then going to the CT/MA line July 4th weekend.

03-07-2004, 21:57
There will be a lot of thru hikers in the area at that time. If I am in that area at that time, it would be fun to meet up with somebody from this site.

Happy Hiking

Jersey Bob
03-08-2004, 09:53
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03-08-2004, 10:24
Just about 6 weeks ago I was bored and went to Barnes & Nobel to browse through the books. Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" jumped out at me with that picture of the bear and the woods in the background.
Anyway, I've set my treadmill to a 15% (maxed out) incline and am pounding away during long lunch hours, five days a week to get in shape. The second hike on the trail in my life will be this Sunday at the Water Gap. Who knows where all this will end? Has anyone, once hooked, ever just stopped being consumed by the desire to be on the trail? Or is this now a lifelong addiction I've gotten into?
Hi Jersey Bob,

Like you, I rekindled my interest in the AT when my parents loaned me a copy of the tape version of "A Walk in the Woods." That was almost 2 years ago.

The funny thing is that Bryson's walk was a *very* incomplete hike in thru-hiker terms. It also appears that Bryson is one who "stopped being consumed by the desire to be on the trail."

I went on from his book to many other trail journals, this site, Sgt Rock's site, ultralight backpacking, Ray Jardine's book, hammock camping, and am about to retire so I can attempt a thru-hike.

Thus far:
Favorite book: JR Tate's "Walking on the Happy Side of Misery."
Favorite section hike: Damascus to Mt. Rodger's HQ (Partnership Shelter)
Favorite view: Spy Rock, VA
Favorite equipment: Home-Made Speer Hammock
Favorite site: This one

Have fun discovering your favorites.

Jersey Bob
03-08-2004, 15:11
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03-09-2004, 09:08
Jersey Bob:

If you really want to get the AT "flavor", go to Trail Days in Damascus in May. My hubby and I go every year and it helps keep our AT dream alive (as whiteblaze.net does also!). Hopefully in 5 years, we will be able to experience the dream for ourselves. (Thanks to everyone for letting us share your experiences!)


Rick Bayley
03-09-2004, 09:20
Yes, it's deeply ironic that Bryson turned more people on to the trail than anyone else whilst being mostly impervious to its charms himself. I am glad that many of those he influenced dug a little deeper and discovered the sense of community, shared experience and peer support systems that seem to have passed him by back in the mid '90s.