Saturday, November 10, 2012

Long Overdue Posting

So last time I updated this was while staying at the Port Clinton Hotel in the middle of July.  Unfortunately, my iPhone fell into a rock crevasse on top of the Pinnacle, just after Port Clinton, PA.  A lot has happened since then, but most importantly, I completed my thru-hike on September 28th! It was a beautiful day and I got to share it with some of the best people I met on the trail.

I intend to fill in the missing states in the coming weeks, and maybe offer a little insight into the experience, so I have a more full recount of the past 6 months.  So stay tuned!
Les Resistance at the Katahdin sign

The rest of the crew we hiked  with up Katahdin

Friday, July 13, 2012

Milestones and magic from Port Clinton, PA

So last time I posted I was about to head into the Shenandoahs following two days off to visit with family/recover from a stomach bug. I quickly caught up with my hiking buddies Brooke and John, who informed me that our trio has been dubbed "Les RĂ©sistance" due to our lack of trail names. The Shenandoahs were pretty nice, with the good views coming on the north end of the park.

The ending of the Shenandoahs also became the start of a barrage of milestones, which have made the past few weeks fly by. First, we hit the famous Roller Coaster, 13 miles of rapid ascents and descents. The coaster wouldn't have been terrible if it weren't for the humidity, 95+ degree days, and multiple blowdowns from those epic storms obstructing the trail.. The end of the roller coaster coincides nicely with the end of 550+ miles of Virginia and the 1000 mile mark. the day after 1000 miles we hit Harper's Ferry (considered the psychological halfway point) and registered our hikes with the ATC. We quickly said good bye to Harper's Ferry and West Virginia, crossed the Potomac, and said hello to 41 miles of Maryland. John pushed out those 41 miles in a single day, while Brooke and I split them over 2 days. After spending the 4th of July with the fantastic Rosesniffer family, I crossed the Mason-Dixon line and welcomed the switch from 'app-a-latch-in' to 'app-a-lay-shun'. My first full day in Pennsylvania was also my first 30 mile day, the crossing of the official halfway point, and the day of the half-gallon challenge. Finally, just yesterday I hit the 1000 miles to go mark, and now feel comfortable counting down the miles.

While Pennsylvania is most known for its rocks and rattlesnakes (and I've seen plenty of both while out here), I need to mention the unbelievable generosity of Pennsylvanians. Every single day I've been in the state I've received some sort of trail magic. From a cooler of sodas at the side of the road, to a fresh salad and chili dinner brought to the 501 shelter, Pennsylvanians have stepped their game up. Most notably, are the two families who let hikers, as complete strangers, into their homes and even cooked us our first home cooked meals on the trail! I've had two great experiences with Pennsylvania families. While it might seem a bit strange to outsiders, it says a lot about the trust in the trail community. You can't help but feel humbled by the experiences.

I'm in Port Clinton now, and after two off trail visits (more on that later), I'll be a mere four days from being in New Jersey and knocking out some more of these mid-Atlantic states!

Photos below! I also got a question about my photos. Most are taken with a Sony Nex c3, and are transferred wirelessly to my iPhone using the awesome eye-fi SD card and my jailbroken iPhone. I then upload them from my phone. I can give more details if requested.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


It's been a long time since I've updated, so I figured I'd condense the last 3 weeks into one post.

After the Highlands

Virginia is the largest state the AT crosses, spending over 550 miles in it's borders.  After parting ways with Lisa and Joe in Grayson Highlands I headed north (duh) feeling a little behind.  While I think I'm permanently behind certain people that I hiked with previously, I've also met some excellent new people have even begun hiking regularly with a small group of folks.  Virginia has been a long, hard slog, and I've seen more people that I know get off the trail than I have.  On the other hand, the views have been some of the most rewarding and I know the states will start to fall much faster when I get out of VA.  I'm still feeling good, although spent the last two days off trail visiting with family/recovering from a stomach bug I caught somewhere along the way.  It was great to see my new niece for the first time since I left for the trail, but I must say I felt pulled back to the trail the entire visit.

Anyhow, here are some photos from my last 3 weeks of the trail, with more info where needed.

McAffee's Knob, the most photographed spot on the trail.

 Sunset on Tinker's Cliffs

A foggy Blue Ridge Parkway

FAA tower (I think)
The Guillotine!

The longest footbridge on the AT crosses the James River

Myself and fellow hikers John and Brooke took a side trip into Lexington to stay at a hiker friendly bed and breakfast.  They treated us far better than we could've asked and gave us some time to explore Lexington, VA and the history there.