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  1. #1

    Default Thank You to Whiteblaze

    One week ago I stood atop Mcafee Knob, had my picture taken as is the custom, walked 4 miles SOBO to Rt. 311, crossed the road and stepped onto the gravel-paved parking lot, completing the entire AT and a goal I had desired for a long, long time. My section-hike of the AT took nearly 5 years, was interrupted by job changes and injury, but was a pilgrimage I felt compelled to make.

    This post is to express my gratitude to all the people who post their experience, opinions, knowledge, educated guesses and wishful thinking on this website. I have learned a great deal from you: about shelters, sleeping systems, clothing, water management, cooking, food planing, hygiene, trip planning, hitchhiking, shuttle arrangements and even weather. My pack was lighter, my confidence was greater, my skills improved through my reading of the posts on this website. As the disclaimer goes, all remaining errors are my own.

    Further, it has been a pleasure to see many of you on the trail, and connect the names and words of black and white with hikers of flesh and dirt and funk. That might not read well to others, but the hikers I have met know what I mean.

    Thank you.

    What next for me? I still have a lot of adventure left in my bones, but I think I will spend some time with trail maintenance organizations. It is time to feed the community that has fed my dreams.

  2. #2
    Registered User Shooting Star's Avatar
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    Default

    Congratulations on finishing up. That feeling of completion must be amazing. But I suspect that all the memories of trail walked,
    views viewed and all the amazing people you've met are something you'll never lose and will treasure always. Good luck with future
    hikes and trail work...

  3. #3
    Registered User JPritch's Avatar
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    02-03-2017
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    Congratulations! Heck of an accomplishment, and done pretty doggone fast too!

    Any words of advice for the rest of us still trying to accomplish the same?

  4. #4

    Default

    Amazing accomplishment One Arm! Congratulations! I am sure your next adventure will be just as amazing! The trail maintainers are trail angel supreme in my book! You will fit right in! Happy trails!

  5. #5

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    My advice is to spend more time on footwear than any other piece of gear.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    double d's Avatar
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    08-10-2007
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    Congrats!!!
    "I told my Ma's and Pa's I was coming to them mountains and they acted as if they was gutshot. Ma, I sez's, them mountains is the marrow of the world and by God, I was right". Del Gue

  8. #8
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    02-18-2015
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    Valdosta, Georgia
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    Congrats! What a great feeling and accomplishment!
    - Trail name: Thumper

  9. #9
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
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    04-21-2014
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    Dayton, Ohio
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    Congrats! What an accomplishment! Wondering what section you did last year and if you remember a guy named Recon after a hard night of constant rain. You are correct, people can be the greatest magic on the trail.
    "gbolt" on the Trail

    I am Third

    We are here to help one another along life's journey. Keep the Faith!

    YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCik...NPHW7vu3vhRBGA

  10. #10

    Default

    I totally agree with footwear One Arm. I am beginning to see even Altras ripping at the seams within weeks and the toe flaps have been an issue. Treads are important buffers to the rocks and roots...and they don't last that long, maybe 400 to 500 miles. Have at least two other shoes ready to ship in the resupply box or find a reputable outfitter on trail to switch out the shoes.

  11. #11

    Default

    Congratulations. It takes a ton of dedication to do what you did. Glad to hear you found what you were seeking.

  12. #12

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    Congratulations! A section hike is so much more difficult than a thru-hike, for so many reasons. Logistically, travel, money...it's all a lot harder than just starting in GA and ending in ME. Well done!

  13. #13

    Default

    I am with you on footwear. Once you find a system for your feet, it is easier to replace when they inevitably wear out. When my favorite trail runners were re-designed (moment of silence for the loss), I took a long time finding the replacement (not as good IMO).

    Recon? Sounds like someone I met near Pearisburg last fall. Weren't you SOBO also? That rain was definitely character-building!

  14. #14
    Registered User
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    Congratulations. Completing the AT via section hiking seems much more rare than completing via a thru-hike.

  15. #15
    Registered User JPritch's Avatar
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    Was there ever a moment of disinterest in continuing, and if so, how'd you get through it? Or were you full steam ahead the whole time?
    While searching for that unknown edge in life, never forget to look home. For the greatest edge you can find in life is to stand in the protective shadow of those who love you.

  16. #16
    illabelle's Avatar
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    I'll chime in with my congratulations to One Arm, and echo his thanks to the WB community. I truly have learned a lot here!

  17. #17
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    You speed demon, you! Took me 14 years! LOL

    CONGRATS!
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

    www.MeetUp.com/NashvilleBackpacker

    .

  18. #18
    Registered User
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    Congrats. That's an amazing accomplishment.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Arm View Post
    One week ago I stood atop Mcafee Knob, had my picture taken as is the custom, walked 4 miles SOBO to Rt. 311, crossed the road and stepped onto the gravel-paved parking lot, completing the entire AT and a goal I had desired for a long, long time. My section-hike of the AT took nearly 5 years, was interrupted by job changes and injury, but was a pilgrimage I felt compelled to make....

    Congratulations!! Thanks for bringing us in on your personal achievement. Great stuff. I am section-hiking the trail. I'm on year#7 and I've completed 1/3 of the trail.

    Interesting to me that you chose McAfee Knob as the place to complete the trail (or officially those 4 southbound miles to the road)...
    I hiked Mount Katahdin a couple years back. And, I'm not feeling it for Springer as the place to complete the trail.

    I'll have to pick a completion spot someday....I'm increasing the trail miles, so I'm looking to complete in like 5 years.

  20. #20

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    Thank you RBH and good luck on your plans to complete the AT.
    I started with the Long Trail in VT and continued SOBO on the AT through PA. Then I jumped to Maine, and then TN to Springer. I had fill-in weekends in NH, VT, MD, WV, S VA and N VA. You are quite right - - where to finish became an important question. I scheduled my sections so that I would end at McAfee Knob - the most iconic location remaining and one of the locations most associated with the AT.

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