*****How long is the trail?
-----The AT is the longest marked and maintained foot path in the world. It is between 2163 and 2175 miles long. From Springer Mt. in GA to Katahdin in Maine. Mostly mountainous terrain. There are areas that are right of ways thru pastures and farm land as narrow as 16 ft. wide.
*****How many states does the trail go through?
------The trail touches fourteen states. GA,NC,TN,VA,WVA,MD,PA,NY,NJ,CN,MA,VT,NH & ME.
*****Who maintains the trail?
------The trail is maintained by the hiking clubs from each state and areas along the way. 99% is volunteer work. Some maintenance is minimal wages.
*****There must be a lot of rivers and creeks, how do you cross?
------Where possible the trail is routed to bridges on the large rivers. Some creeks have bridges built by the clubs, some have logs to walk and some you still ford. There is one River in Maine that a canoe and guide is provided because of the dangers of fast high water.
*****What do you eat?
------ Mostly, up to now we have eaten Ramein Noodles, splitting one pack each evening. Breakfast is a hand full of dried fruit and nuts. Mid day snack is one of those ‘bite size’ candy bars. Once we carried instant oatmeal, hot chocolate and coffee, but it became too much of a hassle. We are going to try all dry food this trip. P-nut butter and crackers.
*****Physically what benefits if any?
----- We both drop a few pounds, but gain it right back. I gained a size in foot size. You learn the importance of water pretty quick.
*****Do hikers take their dogs?
-------YES! And most of the dogs have small packs and carry their own food and water. Most of the dogs are very friendly and are a pleasure to have around at the shelters and camps. One rainy cool night Sherry and I were sleeping with five or six other hikers and one dog. We got up to go to the woods in the middle of the night and I came back to ‘Mitchca’ (a golden Lab), in my sleeping bag. I hurried him out and climbed in; yeah, he was wet and muddy!!!! I liked that dog and did not mind. Hikers cannot take their dogs through the ‘Great Smoky Mts. Nat’l Park’. It is a terrible inconvenience. The dogs must be kenneled and ferried to the other end of the Smokies.
*****About how many people hike the trail?
--------Approximately 2,000 hikers will start the trail each year. About 300 finish. Most drop out within the first fifty miles. The hikers who do the entire trail in one summer (called walking with spring) are called ‘Thru-Hikers’. Folks like us are called section hikers, some each year until they finish. Approx 10,000 hikers have finished the trail since the 1930’s.
*****Bathing, toilet etc.. what do you do?
--------I bath in the creeks and rivers with my clothes on, that way I wash the clothes. Sherry carries baby wipes and wipes down every night. And to answer Paula, Sherry’s hair stays beautiful even in the woods. She is blessed with great hair. (My question is why didn’t anyone ask about my hair?) For toilets?
We walk off the trail and find a spot dig a cat hole and cover the waste when finished. Some shelters have outhouses. Some are odd, but useable.
If you have any more questions, ask away one of us will be glad to try and answer.
Thanks for coming by the log.
A sealed envelope - Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed. (hmmmmmm..).