Rick "Bearfoot" Hatcher is one my best Facebook friends; which, of course, means we have never met. Bearfoot's Appalachian Trail Facebook page is an AT happy place for thousands of hikers.
Bearfoot posted reflections on his Appalachian Trail thru-hike dated March 21, 2013. This is what it's like to thru-hike the AT.
I realize just how difficult it is to keep up a media presence while trying to hike the Appalachian Trail! I'm just so darned exhausted at the end of the day that this is the LAST thing I think of, and I don't have a smart phone with me.
First night out, March 10th, I got bronchitis. Made it over Sassafras and Blood Mtns and was picked up at Tesnatee Gap by friends who live in Hiawassee. Dr. called in medication and I stayed off trail for 2 days at their cabin. Went back out to do Dick's Creek 7 mile section and it nearly killed me. Met "Apple Pie" on trail at Plum Orchard Shelter! A triple crowner who hiked with Skywalker.
Went back out two days ago back to Tesnatee to complete 15 miles up to Unicoi Gap and stayed again at friend's cabin last night. Back out in a few minutes to Unicoi Gap to Dick's Creek and then can take a zero as I won't have to do the next section again.
A bit of attrition in our ranks due to illnesses, injuries, both physical and mental. Many have realized just how much more difficult it is actually hiking the trail than virtually hiking it from our comfortable leather recliners.
I am about 80% recovered from my bronchitis but I am in it for the long haul. No thoughts of getting off trail at all. Just a minor inconvenience that has to be overcome and then continue!
I haven't gotten lost yet, I have finally taken my very first fall, yesterday, on Blue Mountain.
Bearfoot made it all the way to Katahdin, in spite of the obstacles. Expect nothing less and you might make it too.
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Published Mar 25, 2014.
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