Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Appalachian Trail 101

We are not authorities on the trail, but we have met hundreds who are hiking, or have hiked the trail. The trail goes from Springer MT in Georgia, to Mt. Katahdin in Maine, 2,184 miles, thru 14 states. Sherry and I have hiked roughly 1850 miles thru every state except for parts of NH and Maine.

Over the period of years, trail names have become common. We must have a list of 300 different trail names of folks we have met, hiked with, camped with and shared a camp fire with.


(Kentucky Rifle, yeah from Kentucky!)

The first trail name I remember is ‘Pilgrim’. We were in our first 20 miles and met this ‘OLD MAN’. We were sitting on the side of the trail, he walked up, took his pack off threw it down stuck out his hand and said, “Hi, I am Pilgrim.” ( I had chosen ‘the chief and his lady’ my girl then strongly suggest we change to the ‘Overland Hermits’). I asked his age, he said, “Three score and ten.” After retirement he had time on his hands and decided he would hike the trail. He had done a flip flop. That means hiking from Harper’s Ferry to Katahdin. Then returning to Harper’s Ferry and walking south. He was with 20 miles of his goal.100_0049

(Sir Richard from England)

A thru hiker is to be admired. About 1500 start each year and less than 500 make it. The majority lasts less than 100 miles.

Surprising, is diversity of hikers. Grandmas, grandpas, college kids, ministers and some bums Winking smile. Young girls 16-20 and grandmas hiking solo.

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(Bill Irwin and his beautiful wife, Debra. Bill is the only Blind man to ever thru-hike the trail, and an internationally recognized motivational speaker, we were fortunate to have dinner with them) (Bill and his dog Orient, were known as the Orient Express, on the trail.)


(Cricket as she starts the 100 mile wilderness, solo, she has already walked over 2000 miles)

The name Earl Shaffer is famous on the trail. He was the first thru hiker. After WWII he walked to forget the terribleness of war.

Then there was the first female thru hiker, a grandma, Emma Gatewood (67), mother of 11, grandmother of 23. She was famous for only using a small bag and wearing Keds.

A man from Shelby, NC (82), thru hiked a couple years ago.

There are some oddities. A few folks only eat cold food. bread/crackers and p-nut butter. Most folk have small stoves and have hot food. Ramen noodles are big. Freeze dried food. Canned stuff Vienna Sausage and potted meat. I met one guy who had dried his own veggies and packed them.

We met the smartest man in the world, trail name Mooseburger, from Germany. How do I know about the smartest? He flat told us. He had a more varied life than I, and after every job he added, I was the best there was. Funny thing about Moosebuger he had thru hiked twice and came back every year to hike a week or so, We met him two separate years. He was conceited, but he was a nice guy.

We have met folks from several countries who came over jut to hike the famous Foot Path. I haven’t finished what I started here, but that is it for tonight.

Thanks for coming.

Nite Shipslog


When you realize you've made a mistake, take

immediate steps to correct it.


1955 Willys Jeep

This is a 1955 Willy’s Jeep. My friend Theodore Woods had one of these brown and cream, he loved it.



Sounds like you met some interesting people out there on the trail. GREAT people. Guess everyone has their own reason for hiking it. If my legs were working, I might even attempt it myself. I loved when my hubby and I used to hike around state parks. Wish you well in this pursuit. take care.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It must be wonderful to be out on the trail like that and meet so many different people. Hope you had a great Tuesday there. I kept busy babysitting a 2 year old and a 2 month old today. It's a favorite past time of mine.

Anonymous said...

What an interesting adventure!

~mel said...

I can only imagine what they have to say about YOU Jack! ... I already know what they think of Sherry ~ "that sweet pretty little thing hooked up with that ol' codger" ~ lol.
You know I LOVE YA and wish nothing but the best for you both :) I pray that your hiking days continue and your health right along with it. AND that the weather holds out and you don't get caught in a bad rainstorm or worse yet a snowstorm en-route. You're Up North now ~ and the weather can be pretty unpredictable in my longitude/latitude.

Lucy said...

You will have a lot of great memories when you finally settle down in your rocking chair's. Just stay sharp and complete in body and mind. Be careful. I know Sherry will since she has experienced a broken bone. That won't happen to 2 experienced hikers, but still be careful.

BlueRidge Boomer said...

Be safe my friend...
Happy Hiking..!!

Chatty Crone said...

My son LOVES to hike. His mother would love to as well. The spirit is strong but the body is weak! lol

Y said...

And some of us are happy being sedentary slugs...

Dar said...

I'm happy you are having such a wonderful adventure with your lives. Wouldn't that just shock my tiny world if Bill decided to leave the homefront for a 'hike.' I could tell him to take a 'hike' but then I'd be missin' him since there is no way I could join him...seylavee! Good dreams on your wandering nights.
LoveYouGuys HikeSafeN'

Ken Riches said...

Hope you are not too sore yet! Enjoy the hike.