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Conservationist, Planner, and Creator of the Appalachian Trail.

Donaldson, David and Maurice J. Duffus, Jim, and Davey Duffus. If you read only one book about A. Walking the Appalachian Trail. Exploring the Literature of the Appalachian Trail. Reflections on Life and Faith from the Appalachian Trail. Warren, Michael and Sandra Kocher. Graphic Arts Center Publishing Co. Portraits from the Appalachian Trail. Appalachian Trail Guide to Central Virginia 3rd ed. Lillard, David, and Gwyn Hicks. Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Planner. Logue, Victoria, and Frank Logue. The Appalachian Trail Hiker.

Title of 3rd ed.

Lessons from the Appalachian Trail. Peace, Love, and Confessions from the Appalachian Trail. Adventures with God on the Appalachian Trail. Then they would head onward to the South, where they set out from snowy Springer Mountain in northern Georgia on Feb. Along the way, they will make 32 stops to resupply with food and essentials.

A 2,160-Mile Expedition for Charity on the Appalachian Trail

Relatives on the East Coast have volunteered to drive their van to designated meeting points along the way. And Josie is 8, Harper is 10 and Maya is the oldest at 13? When Maya was 10 months old, they took her camping for three weeks on 36 acres they own in Colorado, living in a tent with no running water or resources. Every year, they try to take the family there for a few weeks in the summer. And at Henry W. Coe state park, near Morgan Hill, they did 27 miles in two days, with an 8,foot elevation change.

On a recent gear test in the pouring rain, while crossing Azalea Creek near Hood Mountain, the Malones failed miserably.

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Their trail strategy comes down to morale and teamwork. But we have to all work together. The payoff will hopefully last a lifetime, he says. The Malone daughters are also embracing the journey as a chance to raise awareness and funds for some of their favorite causes.

American Classic: Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Josie has collected more than pairs of shoes for Soles for Souls, a Nashville-based nonprofit that has distributed over 30 million pairs of shoes in countries since By the time I crossed over into Vermont, I was covering as many as 30 miles in a day. In some sense, I have never been healthier than when I was hiking the AT. But it was a strange sort of fitness, because I was fit for only a single task: walking. One afternoon in Maine, a woman agreed to let my friend Hi-C and I stay at her lakeside hotel for a reduced rate, if we would agree to swim out into the lake and retrieve a floating trampoline that had come loose from its mooring.

Hiking with Cancer: The Story of a Couple Pursuing their Dream - The Trek

The task seemed easy enough — swim out, tow the trampoline over to the mooring a distance of about 10 yards , and reconnect it — but it just about killed us. When we jumped into the lake, we both discovered that we could barely swim. Without any body fat, we had a hard time floating. Our arms felt weak. Almost an hour later, we emerged blue-lipped from the water, clutching ourselves and shivering electrically, the way year-olds do after a swim class.

When I polled my hiker friends to ask about how the trail changed their bodies, nearly everyone reported some kind of injury or ailment: sore knees, rashes, abrasions, shin splints, broken bones, fractured joints. Nimblewill Nomad, a legendary old thru-hiker who has been hiking more or less continuously since , has broken four ribs, his shinbone, and his ankle.

He has even been struck by lightning. Naturally, most hiking injuries center around the feet , which bear the brunt of the impact. Blisters bubble up.

Evergreen Dreaming: Trail Tales of an Aging Hiker

Toenails blacken and fall off. Joints swell. During the course of my hike, my feet grew a half shoe size. In prolonged wet conditions, like the ones we experienced in — waterproof boots, as every thru-hiker learns, being a myth — the skin can also "macerate"; it grows pale and soft, then cracks or sloughs off, and can even become gangrenous. Though it is rarely acknowledged as such, the experience of pain is one of the most memorable aspects of hiking the trail.

Pain is horrible, there is no question; that is why we spend our whole lives avoiding it. But the shadow of pain grows more menacing in its absence, and by shrinking away from it, we radically restrict the scope of our experience.


A successful thru-hike demands you to get to know pain intimately, on a daily basis, and then to push through it. The intricate machinery of my feet — the tarsals and phalanges, the cuboid and cuneiform bones, the ligaments and tendons and muscles and arteries and veins — ached for a month afterward.

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  6. In the mornings, I would rise from my bed and hobble to the bathroom with cringing, nonagenarian steps. Overnight, I had gone from being a purebred walker to someone who could barely walk. It takes your body a few days to realize that you have stopped hiking for good. The grace period seems to last about three or four days; hikers who take breaks longer than that told me that they began to feel more tired and sore, rather than more rested.

    However, other changes to my body were perceptible immediately. I was no longer moving toward Katahdin, which for five months had been my north pole, my grail, my Oz — suddenly, I was moving away from it. Famished, we drove to a nearby diner and bought ourselves a lunch of chicken parm sandwiches and tallboys of beer. The food was delicious, but already I could feel my wolfish enjoyment dissipating. It was just plain old food — equal parts pleasure and guilt. Back in New York, I began attending graduate school and working part-time at a distillery.

    Surprisingly quickly, I fell back into the rhythms of city life; I was so busy, I did not have much time to linger over the severity of the transition. Unlike most former thru-hikers, I did not feel any pangs of deep nostalgia for life on the trail. A few even return year after year, the trail having become the center of gravity around which their lives revolve.

    I did not feel any burning desire to go back, but I would catch myself, late at night, looking over the logistics of another long trail, the Continental Divide Trail, which is said to be even harder, wilder, and lonelier than the AT. Over a matter of months, I gradually regressed into something resembling my old self. First, I shaved my scraggly beard, which had begun to draw nervous stares from strangers; then, a few weeks later, I cut my hair.

    The weight I had shed slowly filled back in, layer by later, as if I were being dipped in paraffin. The sense of calm and confidence I had felt on the trail was replaced by ambient anxiety. My thinking was staticky; my attention, hard to fix.