View Full Version : 2003 Thru-Hiker Intros

Former Admin
09-03-2002, 19:04
2003 Thru-Hikers sign-in and introduce yourself.

09-05-2002, 10:00
I couldn't decide whether or not to post here, since I will neither be doing a thruhike under some definitions, nor is it sure I will do what I have in mind. Last summer I hiked from Springer to Damascus and absolutely loved it. I left the trail to move to Indiana, go to a wedding, and then go mountaineering in the North. This summer I am seriously considering finishing the trail; that is, hiking from Damascus to Katahdin. I can start around May 12 and hike until late August, which I believe will be enough time.

A bit about me. I just finished graduate school in math at the University of Illinois and now am teaching at Indiana University. Not the most thrilling of places, but closer to my beloved Smokys. I did the Boy Scout thing when I was younger, then did nothing outdoors for a while, and then started up again in the fall of 1999. I like most outdoor activities, but my interests these days seem to be either long distance stuff or long term mountaineering. My main problem in committing to finishing the AT is that it would be my entire summer. I wouldn't get to spend time out West or in the North. But, I have many months to get all that sorted out.

09-09-2002, 13:28
I've delayed my start date to sometime late March, perhaps early April to avoid as much cold weather as possible and having to ship gear. I intently look forward to meeting, passing and being passed by all you 03'ers.
Everyday spent waiting on March is a day spent waiting to see new and beautiful sights, hear and feel the music of nature, and meet more of the most wonderful people on Earth...Hikers!

The Weasel
09-09-2002, 14:50

It's been said before here, but go get BOTH Ray Jardine's book ("Beyond Backpacking") AND the newest edition of Colin Fletcher ("The Complete Walker").

Seriously consider tarping or a Hennessey Hammock. Post a gear list sometime for all of us to whine about.

The Weasel

09-22-2002, 18:29
I'm starting at Mt.K around June 14, I hike often now and average about 20 miles a day on a week long hike.

09-24-2002, 07:07
My hiking for Year 2003 has been cancelled. I may go with my new boyfriend Aleks from Russia in modify direction for southbound next year, if it remains feasible. :confused: I will see, then. :rolleyes:

Mike Drinkuth
09-25-2002, 12:24
Nice to meet ya, boys and girls! I and my girl, Stephanie, will be startin March 11 (mabye a few days sooner)and goin as far as we can in 6 months....hopefully all the way to Mt. K! Look forward to meetin ya'll in the beautiful north GA mountains! I can't WAIT to get out of the city and back home with the bears, bugs, and blisters!!!:D

10-09-2002, 02:19
hi! I'm chief (trail name which i continue to claim). in 2000 i completed 1400 or so miles of what was to be a thru-hike. a severe concussion cut me short of my goal. i hiked from ga to ny, then flip-flopped to maine (running late, too much partying in towns). climbed katahdin, then headed southbound into the 100 mi wilderness. half way thru a slippery root introduced my head to a rock. made it to monson, though i don't know how. anyways, i'm trying again in 2003 (against the wishes of loved ones). will start between late march and early april. hope to see you all out there.

10-28-2002, 13:42
I'm planning a northbound thru-hike for 2003. Currently, I'm considering a start date of late March or early April.


11-17-2002, 23:07
I'm headed out this time on 3/29. Started out with my partner "BA Turtle" on 3/17 in 2001 and got slammed on day 3 with a horrendous snow storm. Prefer to let the weird March weather blow through a little this time before heading out. Based on my pace in 2001 I am planning on hitting Damascus in time for Trail Days and have no doubt that I will reach Katahdin before Baxter closes.
Anyone else headed out in late March ??

Hammock Hanger
11-18-2002, 00:00
Look forward to meeting you at Trail Days. Will BA Turtle be with you? Would love to see her again. Sue/HH

11-20-2002, 09:16
Hi, I'm Journey and my 2003 start date is March 15th. As my departure grows near, I'm continually thinking about how much I appreciate the love and support that I have been shown these past few months while I prepare for what will be the most exciting and difficult adventure I've ever been on. Friends, family, the Trail Journals community and now whiteblaze.net have all helped to fill my backpack.

Thanks Easy and Kerosene for this great new site.


11-26-2002, 16:50
I recently learned that my current job will be going away at just the right time for the start of a thru-hike. I'm not sure whether or not I can swing it financially, but even if I can't, taking a few weeks to go hiking might be a good thing for me anyway.

So I'm going to plan out a thru-hike as if I were actually going to do with it, and show up at Springer at some point next spring unless my current job decides to keep me. We'll see how far north I get before I have to go home to focus on my job search, or to start my next job. Perhaps I'll leave the trail in Georgia. Perhaps I'll leave it in North Carolina. Or perhaps I'll get to Maine. Who knows?

Hmm. Come to think of it, that's the situation that people who really do intend to get all the way to Katahdin face, too....

11-26-2002, 17:41
Hey there, This is Mntman. I'm starting my through hike on or around March 1, I prefer the cooler weather. Anyway, see you on the trail. Happy hiking.

12-06-2002, 00:20
We plan to do a northbound thru-hike this year, but we cannot begin until after spring semester--which means early May. We plan to take it pretty easy at first to avoid injuries to our 50+ year old joints and bones, and we'd probably have trouble finishing a straight-through hike by October 15. (We're currently looking at routing options, as discussed in another thread.)

We're both incredibly excited ("obsessed" might be more accurate) at the prospect of this hike. Next semester is going to drag!!

Duane & Laura Bender
Rogers, Arkansas

12-08-2002, 17:07
Didn't get to finish my hike this year due to injury, so I decided that I will be going out again, starting at the beginning. I will be starting at Springer on March 29th or 30th.

12-16-2002, 11:37
Hi, My name is CeeJay and my husband Gary and I are planning a thru hike of the AT starting March 10th give or take a day or two. We are trying to get in shape, gather our stuff to pack, and plan our mail drops and food supplies. If anyone has words of wisdom to pass along regarding food, mail drops, getting in shape, etc. Please send it our way. [email protected]

12-17-2002, 05:48
Hi everyone! This is Sassy from Acworth, GA (~30 min north of Atlanta). I plan on heading out April 1st with my husband, Kodiak. We are newly married and have decided that this is the best time ever to take on the long journey. I am a pediatric emergency room nurse who has already been granted a LOA and Kodiak is a full time student with 2 classes left. He made it from Springer to PA before having to come home in 1999, so some may have already met him. We can't wait to get started, leave town, and meet some new folks! We'll see most of you guys on the Trail and hopefully others at Trail Days! Take care!:p


12-20-2002, 11:13
Hey, howdy! I'm grease monkey biker trash turned hiker trash. I hiked Springer to Troutdale Va. last year and plan to Thru-hike this year.(of course I planned to thruhike last year as well but, well, you know.)

12-27-2002, 00:06
hey patrick's the name, and i'm hoping to get my start in early april, i've never hiked before, but i am looking forward to the learning experience

12-27-2002, 20:23
HH ...Toot here !! Talk about being out of touch for a while ...I'm just now seeing your note from November.
And, yes, BA Turtle will be there with me. Amazing the way everything worked out. The class she is teaching is over on 5/17 and she is catching the first flight east and meeting me in Damascus. We'll hang there for the rest of Trail Days and then head out hiking together until Waynesboro. Then she has to fly back and get ready for her fall semester classes. Can't wait to see you and the rest of the gang again. Beautiful out here in Wyoming but feel a little isolated from the AT community now and then

The hiker formerly known as "Toot"

12-27-2002, 21:46
I am going to retire in late March, 2003 and hike north from Springer. I live in northern New England and have hiked the entire AT in Vermont, most of NH, and a lot of Maine, however, the longest I have hiked at one time is about 7 days (have been on longer wilderness canoe trips). So I done't know what to expect other than it is going to both a whole lot of work and fun. I recently hiked about a 60 mile section of the AT around Troutville on my way to the fall gathering and the switch back trails were a little easier when trying to set a pace. I have collected some light wight gear and hope to have my basic pack weight under 20 to start the hike. Of course, food in water of up to 10lbs will be added to that. I will use few if any mail drops and try and buy local food stuff; the exception will be maps and meds which I will have sent along to me. For me it is not written in stone that I hike clear thru from Springer to Katahdin. I will probable leave the trail for a week or so to visit family somewhere along the trail, and may skip a section and continue north; and then go back down south and make the miles up. This arrangement works for me. Good luck to all you 2003's hikers and hope to see you on the trail sometimes.


01-01-2003, 02:18
screw all that treatment (rehab) bull****. Id rather be on the trail and I think the trail is a better cure for an unstable man. Its not like I got anywhere else to go or anything better to do, so the trails a good option (the wells dry here in Chicago). Besides what I am going to do when I get out of rehab, sit in AA meetings drink coffee and meet sleazy toothless chicks (ok yes i know). Been there done that for 3 years when I got out. So im hitting the trail in February and I won't be carrying a cell phone because I wan't to be completly in touch with the wilderness and my surrondings .... actually I don't own one. But I do own a Steinberger guitar made of graphite, yes like Johnny Winter, maybe i'll bring this and a Pignose or headphone set. Oh' **** im starting to sound like a southbounder. Maybe i'll just be a jump arounder. I hope to see some of you on the trail in 2003.

An unstable life is better than an institutional one.

01-01-2003, 08:56
Originally posted by Easyhiker
Besides what I am going to do when I get out of rehab, sit in AA meetings drink coffee and meet sleazy toothless chicks...

My name is TNJED and I'm an alcoholic...

Hey! I met my wife at an AA Meeting and she's neither toothless nor sleazy. Drat!

Maybe you need to go to a different set of meetings. ha ha

Lone Wolf
01-01-2003, 10:34
My name is Lone Wolf. I'm a drinker with a hiking problem.

01-01-2003, 19:15
Originally posted by TNJED
My name is TNJED and I'm an alcoholic...

Hey! I met my wife at an AA Meeting and she's neither toothless nor sleazy. Drat!

Maybe you need to go to a different set of meetings. ha ha

I'm banned from all the meetings where the good looking woman are because of my reputaion as a 13 stepper.:D

01-01-2003, 23:33
Originally posted by Toot
I'm headed out this time on 3/29. Started out with my partner "BA Turtle" on 3/17 in 2001 and got slammed on day 3 with a horrendous snow storm. Prefer to let the weird March weather blow through a little this time before heading out. Based on my pace in 2001 I am planning on hitting Damascus in time for Trail Days and have no doubt that I will reach Katahdin before Baxter closes.
Anyone else headed out in late March ??

If I give the hike a shot this year, I won't be able to get started until very late March or early April. Given that I expect my pace to be relatively slow, is it reasonable to expect to complete the thru hike by early October? I only expect to average about 1.5 mph over the duration of the trail...


01-02-2003, 01:17
The 1.5 mph pace won't be as much of an issue as how many days you spend in towns. Lots of hikers start in late March/early April and summit Katahdin in September. I look forward to seeing you out there.

Wander Yonder
01-02-2003, 06:02
I'm planning to leave March 27 weather permitting. I hope I meet some of you on the trail. :)

01-02-2003, 14:49
I am planning to start March 28 or 29 depending how transportation works out. I am coming down from New England: Airfares are about $200, Train $150+, and the hound (Greyhound) a deal at $69. It is possible I may be able to get a ride with another hiker. I was wondering if any previous thru hikers have a recommendation on geting to Atlanta/Springer? I would rather not blow my budget when just starting the hike.

Hammock Hanger
01-02-2003, 15:06
NH. I was knocked off the trail in NH with West Nile this past summer. After a summer work commitment I hope to hop back on the AT and fisish it up. -- I had truly dreamed of finishing with my hiking family of 2001...didn't happen. Then high hopes of finishing with my new 2002 friends...didn't happen. So, this year PLEASE will my 2003 friends carry my cripple or lifeless body to the top for me!!!! LOL.
As I will be hooking up with ya all near the end of your journey I hope you will still accept an old hiker lady into your family as it would be a joy to summit with some of you. Sue/Hammock Hanger

01-02-2003, 16:46
Hey HH ...when are you planning on jumping on the trail? If it's sometime in August I hope to see you somewhere in NH

01-10-2003, 22:05
I am Jonathan and I will be starting my thru-hike of the A.T. the first week of March. I am thirty four and somewhat of a light type hiker.

01-10-2003, 22:05
I am Jonathan and I will be starting my thru-hike of the A.T. the first week of March. I am thirty four and somewhat of a light type hiker.

Jack Tarlin
01-11-2003, 17:02
You might want to check out the Yahoo Group called HikersRUs (go to www.yahoo.com, then go to Groups, and proceed from there). There are a ton of folks in this group who are planning to leave around the 1st.

01-18-2003, 04:47
Guess its time to introduce myself, I've been lurking for a while now and reading up.

My name is Steve, pretty much a novice hiker but very comfortable in the outdoors and in decent shape. Planning on leaving on or around March 23 and walking north until I either get to Maine or until I decide to stop for one reason or another.

I want to do this for the sake of the trip itself so I'm religiously avoiding doing a whole lot of preplanning in the form of schedules or tying myself to mail drops. I may decide to send a couple care packages based on Baltimore Jack's posts but I think I'm going to buy along the way as much as possible. I really want to be able to dictate my own pace, stop when I want to stop, watch a sunset, take a side trail to check something out without the pressure of having to be at a certain place at a certain time. I'm planning passing as many white blazes as I can, but I'm not going to obsess on walking past every single one.

Getting away from that pressue is why I want to be out there in the first place. I'll start on Springer and end up where I end up :D

01-18-2003, 21:52
I am Jonathan and I will be starting the A.T. between the first and eighth of March 2003. I tend toward the lighter side of equipment and such and have done the typical gear purchase discard purchase then make some gear routine so if I could be of any assistance to people wanting to lighten up feel free to ask! Lighter hiking need not be the spartan affair most envision.
With forethought and planning and learning to recognize want from need it is indeed posible to get to under ten pounds and have everything needed for 0 farenheit and above. A synergistic system working together can provide everything you need but the most importantant equipment you can have is free updatable and always works with minimal maintanance.......your mind! And remember as Jardine said......"If I don't have a piece of equipment I don't need it!"

01-19-2003, 19:44
Hi, I'm Lydia. Blazinbrush (Ned) and I are planning to start March 1st. I AM SO EXCITED. See you guys out there!

01-20-2003, 14:40
Originally posted by easy
I might go hiking again ........... but i'll be damed if anyone knows im on the trail, except for those that have meet me before ..... im going to go by the trail name, Tasty Puppet

Tasty Pup

Ok Easy, If you're going to tell us that you are using that name, then people WILL know if you are out there. Or do just want to watch the chaos around you as everyone is asking each other if they have met Tasty Puppet yet? LOL

01-23-2003, 00:19
hi friends, i'm brother ron and i'll be starting 4/1.

01-30-2003, 22:50
I want to start a thru hike thiiis year headed North in late March or April. I'm not speedy. Starting at age 69. Handle will be "Uncle Gunk" Headed East from Sausalito, CA.

01-30-2003, 23:01
Welcome onboard Uncle Gunk. Footslogger here. You've got me by a few years but I doubt I'm much faster on the trail. I'm headed out of Springer in late March. Hope to see you out there !!

01-30-2003, 23:10
I am sixty-nine headed North in late March or Early April. Looking for walkers, not speedsters. Takers?

01-30-2003, 23:19
I generally hike at a fairly slow pace. I expect to start a thru-hike by covering 6 or 7 miles a day for the first week or two, and then gradually increase the daily mileage. Eventually, I guess I would average 14 or 15 miles a day. But, I would rarely ever average over two miles per hour.

I would be interested in joining someone hiking at a similar pace. The only problem with me is that I'm not completely committed to doing my thru-hike this year. There's a chance that I'll go late March/early April, but I'm leaning towards '04...

steve hiker
01-31-2003, 01:41
I'm looking to start southbound, maybe '04 or '05. Right now thinking maybe start at Kathadin in July, avoid the worst of the black flies up north, enjoy the fall leaves and snow down south.

steve hiker
01-31-2003, 19:46
Oops, just noticed this thread is 2003 thru-hiker intros, not '04 or '05.:-?

02-02-2003, 19:11
i am starting my north bound thru hike march 9th or 10th. still hav emuch to do befor ei leave, but all will get done. an whatever doesnt, oh well i guess. i almost hav eall y gear and have been dehydrating veggies and tofu like crazy. see ya'll out there.
regan (sometime known as little feet. not sure if it will stay)

02-02-2003, 21:29
Hi, Skeemer here looking forward to joining the AT Thru-hiker community on March 14th when I start NOBO from Springer. Did 175 miles or so last summer. Gained valuable experience and got to meet some of the class of 2002. Regard the "hiker community" at sites like Trailjournals Whiteblaze and hikersRus as the most valuable resource out there.

02-03-2003, 14:19
Hi all,
My name's Yedi. Boleweevil and I are looking to take off from Springer on March 11. See y'all on the Trail.

Trail Dog
02-03-2003, 16:49
Hey all names Robert, I'm flying down to Atlanta from NYC on Febuary 26th, I'll be at the approach trail on the 27th, starting off with a zero day for the 28th, and I'll be leaving springer mountian on March 1st after i meet up with a fellow NYC hiker.

I'll be doing a lot of on and off the trail to come back home for some National Guard Training ever month or so, so I'll probally end up meeting a whole bunch of you just to leave again to meet a new group. But all i am doing for the next 7 or 8 months is hiking, military training or hooking up with the mid atlantic trail crew in October. Its going to be a great year! Good luck to all.

02-06-2003, 00:44
Hey all.
My name is Alex, going under the Trail name of A-Train. I'm 19, from brooklyn, NY. I'm taking a semester off from school at the university of vermont. Why rush just to graduate?
Leaving with the crowds on march 1st. Will meet up with traildog (posted above) around springer somewhere. takin' it easy at first, gonna get my legs in gear and dodge the weather :) but i aim to be done by mid-august for school. got a journal on trailjournals.com as does everyone and their step-moms. Good luck to all and hope to see lots of you out there.

02-07-2003, 11:21
Hi! I'm getting ready to head out for a Feb. 23rd start. I know, I know ITS EARLY and its going to be COLD! But my hiking partner and I are starting Med and Law schools in mid August and are no speedsters so we need to get a move on it! I'm sure that many of you will be catching up to us :). Any advice for early starts?

02-07-2003, 11:33
Dress Warm !!

02-08-2003, 19:04
Hi, I am Tenderfoot (aka Sarah), My best friend Todd is fighting Pancreatic Cancer. Starting this Spring we are going to hike the 2160+ miles of the Appalachia Trail to raise awareness and funds for Pancreatic Cancer research. Todd and I have always dreamed of hiking the AT from Georgia to Maine together. When Todd was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in January Ď02 we thought our dream would never come true. Throughout the past year, he has been receiving treatments and despite the doctor's recent pronouncement that he does not seem to be responding any longer he feels strong enough to hike. Our plan is to hike together, should Todd need to stop, Iíll continue for both of us. We will start early April in Georgia and expect to finish late September in Maine.

All funds raised in this process will benefit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Inc. (PanCAN) which is a national non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that serves as a patient advocacy organization for the pancreatic cancer community. PanCAN is dedicated to focusing national attention on the need to find a cure for and ultimately to eliminate pancreatic cancer. This will be accomplished by providing public and professional education that embraces the urgent need for more research, effective treatments, and early detection and prevention programs. (see their site www.pancan.org to make a donation or learn more!)

We are in the process of soliciting support and sponsorships from various companies and individuals to assist in our gear expenses and most of all raising awareness and funds for education, support and research for Pancreatic Cancer.

I hope you will consider donating to this cause. Specifically we are in need of ultra-light gear including clothes, tents, sleeping bags, one pack and boots. IIf you know anyone who can help us in this cause have them contact me at [email protected]?

P.S. A few facts about pancreatic cancer:

--Approximately 30,300 people will be diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer this year in the United States. Pancreatic Cancer does not discriminate by age, gender or race.
--Pancreatic Cancer has the #1 fatality rate of all cancers. The 99% mortality rate for pancreatic cancer is the highest of any cancer. Only 4% of patients will survive beyond 5 years.
--Pancreatic Cancer is the #4 cancer killer in the United States amongst both men and women

02-11-2003, 22:01
My plans are to southbound from Mt. Kathadin around June 14 or 15. I may start a week earlier but who wants to be in the 100-Mile Wilderness on Friday the 13th. My only AT hike was last September I hiked the approach trail to Springer and 20mi to Woody Gap in 48 hours, my chops were busted. Good Luck to all!

02-12-2003, 00:55
Greetings, all! Just wondering, is there any term for someone who plans to hike 2/3 of the trail? Can't do the whole thing between semesters, but I feel like I'm somewhere between a section hiker and a thru-hiker.

02-12-2003, 11:26
mathdb8 ...no terms that I am aware of for a 2/3 er. In years past on some "other websites" there have been endless debates about the definition of "thru-hiking". As I recall, a consensus was never reached ...just a few different opinions were voiced. Bottom line ...call yourself what you want. To me, thru-hiking simply means that you'res out there for a sustained period of time and not just a weekend. Section hiking (again, to me) means that you have broken the trail down into specific segements and plan to complete it using that approach. Then there is the whole "2000 miler" thing ...but that is self explanatory.

Just my .02

02-20-2003, 19:40
Hey IM going to start a thru-hike in late april or early may, im 18 will be 19 when i start. I plan on starting at Amicalola Falls Ga and going all the way to the end. Im hoping to finish this by the time i have to go back to school, which gives me roughly 17 weeks. Best of luck to all hikers before me and after

03-08-2003, 20:43
The time has come, bought my bus ticket this week and leave for Atlanta next Tuesday morning. I'll be keeping a journal at http://www.trailjournals.com/csholes/ stop in and say hello. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible on my hike this year. Be well.


03-09-2003, 12:23
Jenn here
Starting from Springer on March 27th.... Can't wait!

03-14-2003, 01:37
Hi, I'm Eli. The trail name will come on the... er... trail.
I'm starting April 2nd at springer (still looking for a shuttle to the trail head). I plan on sticking it out through the tough times and making it up to baxter state park before it's covered in snow.
Look forward to meeting some interesting people along the way :)

04-02-2003, 14:06
Reporting from the library in Hiawassee, GA. Trail in GA has been great-7 days hiking from US Forest Service Road near Springer.

Weather was on the cold side for a couple of days and we had a couple of inches of snow in the higher elevations. Stayed at the hostel at Neals Gap for 1 night. Now at a motel in Hiawassee which is a wonderful trail down.

Heading north with next stop planned in Franklin, NC.

Taking the trail one step at a time.