Thru-Hikers’ Tales


The majestic Mount Katahdin, the northern end of the mystical Appalachian Trail in Maine. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Few people attain their ultimate goals, it seems, for one good reason or another.  Priorities change and life happens.  The loftier the goal … the harder it is to achieve.

Thankfully, that logic doesn’t keep life’s dreamers and achievers from hitting the Appalachian Trail (AT).

Many years ago, Grandma Gateway famously hiked the AT wearing Keds sneakers — using such high-tech innovations as a shower curtain for a tarp — three times.  After having eleven children.

Today, tougher outdoor denizens who measure their packs in grams would die a hundred deaths trying to out-hike that old lady.

Do you know what the difference is between people who thru-hike the AT and those who do not?

  • Some quit before they must.
  • Some must quit along the way.
  • Others don’t quit when they must and
  • some don’t even think of quitting.

Don’t kid yourself.  You will not know which category fits you until you hit the top of Mount Katahdin for yourself to complete your northbound thru-hike … or until you pause for a night at Blood Mountain, within days from Springer Mountain on your way south to finish your trek.

It’s like marriage.

You can watch a zillion romantic movies and ogle goofy lovey-dovey people on dreamy first dates to form an opinion of what marriage would/will be like, but you’re better off asking married people for the truth.  They’ll teach you what you cannot get from books or looks.

So it is with thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Read all you can about the AT.  Get the best advice on gear.  Get in shape.  Psych yourself up … before you hit the Trail.

I loved reading Winton Porter’s book, Just Passin’ Thru, and my Appalachian Trail 2012 Thru-Hikers’ Companion is happily worn.  I, however, learned the most about such things as the 100-Mile Wilderness from a petite hiker named “Nectar” than in any publication.  She’d been there and done that.

I love this quote from a person who gave the effort everything she had, but didn’t finish:

“Our attitude changed after we started hiking.  We were totally uneducated in what it’s like to walk that path. It was harder physically and harder mentally. We had read all these things and still knew nothing.”

Hike your own hike.  Learn your own lessons.

Write them all down for your remembrance and for the benefit of others … in our Thru-Hikers’ Tales.

Click Here for 2012 Thru-Hikers’ Tales

2013 Thru-Hikers’ Tales

Ryan Vaughn & Seth Urich’s Tale

Nectar & The 100-Mile Wilderness

Lady Grey’s Tale

Dan & Kara’s Tale

Ryan Royalty’s Tale

Colton Calloway’s Tale

Jeff Alt’s Tale

Chad Weber’s Tale

Bill “Glacier” the Marine’s Tale

Betterman & Smother’s Tale

Warrior Hikers in Hamburg, PA

Pilgrim’s Tale

Sassafras & Kaboose’s Tale

Walk in Love 2013′s Tale

Wash & Boo-Boo’s Tale

Neva Warren’s Tale 

Dave Shoupe’s Tale 

Chipmunk’s Tale

Ryan Johnson’s Tale

Karen Edward’s Tale

Morgan Scherer’s Tale

Polechar’s Tale

Anne O’Brian’s Tale

John “Grizzley” Volt’s Tale

Rash’s Tale

Crunchmaster’s Tale

“Journey’s” Tale

Kevin, Hunter & Hike for Heroes’ Tale

D6′s Tale

Mike “Bald Eagle” Criner’s Tale

Ethan & Jesse Kearn’s Tale

Chris Hillier’s Tale

Trevor Cook’s Tale

John Koning’s Tale

Zach Galifianakis’s Tale

Holden Sizemore’s Tale

Warrior Hiker Steve Clendenning’s Tale

Blazer’s Tale

Trail Kit and/or Clever Girl’s Tale

Aaron Schroeder’s Tale

Socks’ & Dreamer’s Tale

Mike Bell’s Tale

Jeff Fleming’s Tale

Clinker’s Tale

Fast Eddie’s Tale

Panos Charuhas’ Tale

Matt Kirk’s Tale

Margie Hunter’s Tale

Kevin Lambert’s Tale

Garrett Seibert’s Tale

David Rochow’s Tale

Logan McCulloch’s Tale

Steve Fugat’s Tale

* Four Old Guys from Georgia’s Tale

JB Hibbits’ Tale

Zac Gleneck’s Tale

Ricky Dyer’s Tale

* Clever Girl & Dumptruck’s Latest Tale

Army Ant, Jacko & Invisible Man’s Tale

Melissa Rae Newman’s Tale

Left & Hush’s Tale

Motown’s Tale

Sunflower’s Tale

Crunchmaster’s Tale

Megan Taylor’s Tale

Lucy LuLu’s Tale

Andrew Fersch’s Tale

Zag’s Tale

Smile’s Tale

Buddy Backpacker’s Tale

Cheap Chardonnay’s Tale

Randy Malecha’s Tale

* Love & Peace’s Tale

Jonathan Hartranft’s Tale

Cozy’s Tale

Lefty & Hush’s Tale

Boo Boo’s Tale

Cub’s Tale

Aviator’s Tale

Breitside’s Tale

Don’s Brother’s Tale

Ranger Zachary Adamson’s Tale

M-Dot’s Tale

Argo’s Tale

Lost N Found’s Tale

Tyler Baughman & Mike Stephens’ Tales

Elizabeth Usborne’s Tale

Rob Carmel’s Tale

Kathy Saunders’ Tale

Crunchmaster’s Tale

Blood Orange’s Tale

Neva Warren’s Tale

Corey & Chase Dickens’ Tale

Stripe’s Tale

CoMOMdo’s Tale

Buddy Backpacker’s Tale

Sqeptiq’s Tale

* Lighthouse / Joey’s Tale

Son Driven’s Tale

HeartWalker’s Tale

TerBear’s Tale

Counselor’s Tale

Drifter’s Tale

Hobo’s Tale

* Morris the Cat’s Tale

Eric Bourquin’s Tale

Hoosier’s Tale

3 of 4 – Shawn, Abby, Bentley Chapman’s Tale

Marketman’s Tale

Gumby’s Tale

Caitlin Campbell’s Tale

Jim Antoniono’s Tale

Drew Beeler’s Tale

* Clinker’s Tale

Jocelyn Songer’s Tale

Gary Miller’s Tale

Gerald Anderson’s Tale

Carolyn & Gregg Oakley’s Tale

Miles Bisher & Lindsey Gordon’s Tale

Monster Cheese’s Tale

Chaco’s Tale

Dr. Spice’s Tale

* Kaitlyn Breitlin’s Tale

Cheryl “Clinker” McCormick’s Tale

Alex “Mailman” Baumgardner’s Tale

Kyle Castillo’s Tale

Peggy Stout’s Tale

Deb “Lady Grey” Van Schaack’s Tale

* One Stick’s Tale

David Rutter’s Tale

Elizabeth Usborne’s Tale

Gary Miller’s Tale

* Jim Antonionos’s Tale

Marcus Ross’s Tale

Diane & Dwight King’s Tale


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