Thru-Hikers’ Tales


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

Not one of the hundreds of thru-hikers’ tales we’ve posted ever had the line: “You can’t always get what you want,” as Mick sings 24/7 on radio stations around the world.

Sometimes you can get what you want.  But you have to want it hard enough to do whatever it takes.

When it comes to thru-hiking the 2,185.3 miles of the Appalachian Trail, with its “pointless ups and downs” through 14 states, it takes everything you have to finish the trip of a lifetime.  And more.

My brother, aged 68, said he has a bad knee and he didn’t think he could make it end to end.  I, ever so kindly, told him that petite women, blind hikers and much older men would be there to help.

Grandma Gateway, enshrined in the Appalachian Trail Museum, hiked the entire AT wearing Keds sneakers — using a shower curtain for a tarp — three times.  After having eleven children.

Yeah.  Think about that for a minute.

No book you can buy, read or study will lift your pack up to Springer Mountain in Georgia or to the summit of Mount Katahdin in Maine.  Only you can do that.  For yourself … or anybody or anything you choose.

No one finishes anything they don’t begin.  A good place to start is to get advice from folks who have hit the Trail ahead of you.

That’s why we offer these Thru-Hikers’ Tales, along with a few helpful tricks of the Trail.

Hike your own hike.  Learn your own lessons.  Then, send us a link to your story.  No doubt, it will benefit someone.

Click Here for 2012 Thru-Hikers’ Tales

Click Here for 2013 Thru-Hikers’ Tales

Now, without further ado, we present to you … the 2014 edition of Thru-Hikers’ Tales!

Red Robin’s Tale

Nolan McDermott’s Tale

Steve Hess’s Tale

Bob Koch’s Tale

Shelter Etiquette from Appalachian Trials

Warrior Hikers’ Tales

Joseph Young’s Tale

Anne O’Brian’s Tale

Steve Adams’s Tale

Roger “Adventurous Cane” & Roni “Rambling Shamrock’s” Tale (Roger is blind & deaf.)

Jeff “Yellow Beard” Bliss’s Tale

Paul Luedtke’s Tale

Dan Manning’s Tale

John “J-5″ Vuolo’s Tale

* Cassra Zareie’s Tale

Mexbuk-i’s Tale

Lucy “Peppa” Gamble’s Tale

Lauren Davis & Nate Cramer’s Tale

* Lauren & Grace’s Tale

* Phyllis Sheffer’s Tale

Gary Parkinson’s Tale

William Wells’ Tale

* Jett Cat & Wired’s Tale

Mark St. John’s Tale

* Drew Burnett’s Tale

Bill Hevrin’s Tale

Ethan Jenkins’ Tale

* Murphy’s Tale

Evan Prater’s Tale

Becky Wright & CJ Mauger’s Tale

Peter King’s Tale

Kurt Bramel’s Tale

* The Kallen Family’s Tale

Dustan Thomas’s Tale