Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is "The People's Trail".  It stretches from Georgia to Maine and runs mostly along the ridge line of the Appalachian Mountain Range.  The Appalachians are thought to be the oldest mountain range in the world, and before time and erosion took its toll, was higher than the Himalayas.  So it's an ancient line of mountains.

And, it's a challenge to a few thousand hikers that try to hike the entire trail in one season - a 'Thru-Hiker.'  Hundreds of thousands of other hikers visit the trail each year, for day hikes or extended trips - 'Section-Hikers'.  Some Section-Hikers end up completing all sections of the AT over the course of several seasons.  I have been a Section-Hiker.  In just a few trips, I have hiked over 100 miles of the AT.  I always figured I would have to wait until I was well into my 60's before I could think about a Thru-Hike.  But employment circumstance have given me the opportunity to tackle this dream early.

Over the course of the next 3 months, I will be preparing for an April 1st start date for my Thru-Hike attempt.  I say 'attempt' because only about 20% of those who start are able to finish in one season.  I will take you through my planning process and gear selection.  Once I am on the trail, I will continue to post entries so you can follow along.

The AT is cared for by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and local Hiking Clubs who perform trail maintenance for the entire 2,185 miles.  They are a dedicated crowd.  Learn more here: Appalachian Trail Conservancy

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