2200 Miles from Georgia to Maine

I did 60 miles on the Appalachian Trail from Franklin, N.C., to Fontana Dam, N.C., hiking with a group a people that plan to thru-hike. They are just getting started, figuring out what to carry, shedding weight from their gear, starting to toughen up, so I was able to stay with them. Joining a thru-hiker later on, after they get to Virginia or beyond, with the idea you’re going to stay with them, is a dream.

Several thousand people start the hike at Springer Mountain, Ga. every spring. Most of them leave the trail in the first few weeks. Some get injured, some decide they don’t like it as much as they thought, and some, I suspect, learn what it was they came out there to learn and let it go. The remainder, a few hundred of them, continue on, making 10 to 15 miles a day, until sometime in the fall they arrive at Mt. Katahdin in Maine’s Baxter State Park.

What I learned the last few days is that I can still do this. I made the climbs in the hot afternoons, handled the distances, slept on the ground, and most importantly, I enjoyed it. I can feel the call of the long green tunnel.

Take nothing for granted. Not one blessed, cool mountain day or one hellish, desert day or one sweaty, stinky, hiking companion. It is all a gift.
—-Cindy Ross


5 thoughts on “2200 Miles from Georgia to Maine

  1. Mt. Katahdin is really quite something, at least for the east coast. The train approaches the peak via the “Knife's Edge”, a narrow ridge that, while not sheer, is a dramatic climax to the hike.

  2. I envy you, especially being able to take the time off! Good luck and hopefully one day you too will complete the trail!

  3. My daughter works on “the” Trail in West Virginia. They are re-habbing parts of it, moving the trail from one side of a mountain to another, adding a playground of all things and some parking aprons at a popular spot to get on and off. She loves it and is looking for a way to make it a permanent job instead of the 1-year temp that she is doing. She has school loans to pay off and needs a “real” job, something that pays more than minimum wage. Still she loves the outdoors, the wild and wonderful we call it. I’d love any job where you had to take a forest fire fighting class!!

    BT: Jimmy T sends.

  4. Mt. Katahdin is quite something. However, the Appalachian Trail does not approach the peak via the “Knife's Edge”. The AT finishes (they like to call it the northern terminus) at Katahdin, on a path that is full of boulders. The way back down on the AT is the same way up. The Knife's Edge is an alternative trail.

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