An Appalachian Trail Series – Maine

281.8 miles
21 days (09.16 – 10.07)

Fun Fact: The state of Maine has the highest moose population in the lower 48 states. As the largest member of the deer family, Maine has approximately 60-70,000 of the cute, gangly and DANGEROUS creatures. While aggression is not their norm, they can resort to it when a cow moose protects its young or when the bull moose is in the rut. As always, stay aware of your surroundings, observe from afar, and don’t be like these assholes who throw snowballs at them.unnamed.jpg

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An Appalachian Trail Series – New Hampshire

160.9 miles
14 days (09.02 – 09.16)

Fun Fact: The New Hampshire section of the Appalachian Trail has the highest average elevation gain of the entire trail at 329 feet/mile. Be prepared. This state can totally kick your ass (in the most beautiful way possible, of course).

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Live free or die.

It’s not my motto though some may argue that it could be (just kidding, I like to think I’m far more hardcore than I actually am).

It’s the motto of the great state of New Hampshire.

And accurately so. Continue reading

An Appalachian Trail Series – Vermont

“Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them.”

-Rose Kennedy

149.8 miles

12 days (08.21-09.02)

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When people ask me “What is your favorite section of the Appalachian Trail?” it’s tough to form a response. Is this question in reference to the scenery and beauty? Is this an inquiry into the amazing people I was surrounded with? Or, perhaps a particular moment or timeframe in which I felt the most enlightened? Continue reading

An Appalachian Trail Series – Massachusetts

90.4 miles

5 days (8.16-8.21)

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When you hear the word “Massachusetts”, what image do you conjure up? Assuming you aren’t one of the 6.7 million people living in this great state with a unique and intimate perspective, perhaps you might imagine…

Cobblestone streets in Boston…

Lighthouses and quaint fishing villages on Cape Cod…

“The Departed”…

Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch…

All reasonable first thoughts. What child born in the U.S. wasn’t taught about the midnight ride of Paul Revere? The Kennedy Compound summons memories of this country’s 35th president, his family and the beautiful, slow-paced living of Cape Cod. And, if all else fails, 99.9% of people on this planet are assuredly aware of the six-pack abs belonging to the perfection that is Mark Wahlberg. Continue reading

An Appalachian Trail Series – Connecticut

51.6 miles

4 days

Helpful NOBO tidbit: If you are planning to receive a winter gear mail drop, Connecticut is a good place to begin planning when and where to receive it (we received ours in Bennington, VT). Depending on the season and time of arrival, it can get quite cold in the remaining states. It’s best to be prepared!

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Connecticut… home of this fine country’s first juicy burger, headquarters to ESPN and the World Wrestling Federation, and birthplace of George W. Bush (listed in order of quality contributions to American life).

Also home to Connecticut? Quaint New England towns, polo-shirted men, and charming countryside. Continue reading

An Appalachian Trail Series – New York

An Appalachian Trail Series – New York

89.7 miles

6 days

Interesting Fact: The first section of the Appalachian Trail was completed in 1923 and was constructed in the Bear Mountain-Harriman State Park segment. Also found in this section? The lowest elevation point of the A.T. is located at the Trailside Museum and Zoo at Bear Mountain ringing in at a whopping 124 feet above sea level.

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When you cross into the ninth state on your Appalachian Trail journey, you don’t just smile, say “wahoo”, and move along. You sit and savor the moment. With Friends. Celebrating.

When things get monotonous, you celebrate.

Every.

Single.

Milestone.

That was our key to keeping the excitement alive. As enjoyable as hiking can be, doing anything repeatedly for 4-5 months can make even grandma yawn to an episode of Green Acres (which just plain doesn’t happen). Continue reading

An Appalachian Trail Series – New Jersey

72.2 miles

6 days

Things to know: Campfires are prohibited in Jew Jersey and camping is restricted to designated campsites. Plan accordingly.

Fun Fact: New Jersey is home to one of the highest densities of black bears in the nation.

Odds of seeing one = GOOD

Odds of seeing one while blissfully chatting away with friends = ZILCH,

ZERO,

NADA

… Oh well, it was worth it…

New Jersey Continue reading

An Appalachian Trail Series – West Virginia and Maryland

4 miles* in West Virginia

40.9 miles in Maryland

3 days (not including our 2 ½ week hiatus spent in Michigan)

Fun Fact: Maryland and West Virginia are considered the easiest states on a thru-hike due to minimal elevation change and well maintained trail.

* Figure does not include the 15 miles +/- that hug the Virginia/West Virginia border.

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Still reeling from hiking 1,000 miles, we knocked out West Virginia with ease. Okay, okay. It’s beside the point there were only 4 miles of trail in it… we kicked ass those four miles!

Boom.

West Virginia – Check! Continue reading

An Appalachian Trail Series – Georgia

Georgia Fun Facts

78.5 miles

9½ Days

2nd most elevation change on the A.T. (New Hampshire is first)

Highest point: Blood Mountain–4,458 feet

Lowest point: A sleepless night at Mountain Crossings Hostel acclimating to fellow hikers’ snoring habits.

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Georgia, Georgia, Georgia… What can I say?

It’s TOUGH.

Unless you’ve just completed an Ironman triathlon or are Chris Hemsworth, you will struggle with this state. Physically, mentally, emotionally… Georgia covers a lot of ground on the struggle bus. Continue reading

An Introduction to the Appalachian Trail Series

“Springer Fever” – a serious, but not fatal, affliction experienced by many hikers that provokes an overwhelming urge to be (back) on the Appalachian Trail – is upon us!

While the term is generally used to describe the few months leading up to the hike’s start date (similar to “It’s-Freaking-Cold-Outside-and-I-Wish-Winter-Would-Be-Over-With-Already Fever”), “Springer Fever” is a year-round sentiment felt by many hikers whenever time is NOT spent in the woods. Nevertheless, I know for a fact that those planning an upcoming hike on the Appalachian Trail are spending much of their free time Googling things like:

                                                                   “Hammock camping vs. tent camping”

                                    “What should my base weight be?”

                                                                                   “Did Bill Bryson hike the entire Appalachian Trail?”

                     “What are my odds of getting eaten by a black bear?”

                                                                                                              “How do I effectively shit in the woods?” Continue reading