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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Big Day : They're Off!!


No! it is not a race; but a challenge all the same. From Chattahoochee National Forest to Baxter State Park. From Georgia to Maine. From Springer Mountain to Mount Katadhin. Whatever you call it: it is the Appalachian Trail.

Today, after a year of getting ready, dreaming, planning, problem solving, exercising my brother, Richard, and his wife, Carol ,are beginning to hike the iconic Appalachian Trail, all 2,178 miles of it. At any age ,this is a formidable feat. At ages, 63 and 65, it is quite remarkable. It seems my brother wants to try out his artificial hip and knees.

If they keep to their schedule .they will reach the Northern terminus of the Trail atop Mount Kadadhin, in late September, enjoying the Fall splendour of the New England woods.



















The trail marker at the beginning on Springer Mountain, Ga.


Richard and Carol will be keeping friends and family abreast of their progress. I will be sitting in the comfort of my room following along on the lovely map of the Trail he sent me, reading his journal posting and looking at some of the photos he will be sending to us. I will be both a little envious and yet glad I am free of the physical discomfort of hike that rugged and long.



My brother and his wife live in Charlotte, N.C. They are both retired nurses. Years ago, they were involved in long distance running. With their medical and running background they have very maticulously planned this adventure and prepared themselves for the challenge. The have described some of this in some early entries on the website http://trailjournals.com/

If you want to read what they have gone through to prepare, type , Richard and Carol into the search bar then click on the entry title for 2010. (You could also read about a former, less challenging, hike at this site). Start reading the entries clicking on "next" to continue until you reach the last one. You will see how thoughtfully they have prepared. I understand they will post in this site, so if you are interested you could return from time to time.)







The Crest of Mount Katadhin.


This Mountain is a challenging hike in it own right without being part of the Appalachian Trail. This granite monument of a mountain is symbolic of the rugged environment of the State of Maine and the hardy souls when love to live there. It is the tallest mountain in Maine, and the centerpiece of Baxter State Park.

Henry David Throeau wrote about Mount Ktaadn in the 19th Century. http://thoreau.eserver.org/ktaadn01.html


For those interested in the Appalachian Trail there are many You Tube videos by those who have met the challenge and accomplished their dream. There are also many sites for information about the trail and reports of those who traveled it, along with many lovely photos.


Here are some sites.


This includes an interactive map.

http://www.fred.net/kathy/at.html This is the home page the Appalachian Trail. It links to many useful sites.

http://www.planetanimals.com/logue/Springer.html This is about Springer Mountain, Ga where the Trail begins.

http://www.katahdincam.com/ Here is a lovely web cam of Mount Katadhin, still snow capped.


http://karriesappalachiantrail.blogspot.com/2010/02/photos-from-mt-katahdin.html This is a typical record of one group that hiked the length of the trail. In their Photobucket site there are over 800 pictures from their adventure.


I wish Richard and Carol well on their adventure. Safe passage. Enjoy the best parts: tough out the many difficult parts. Get back with few injuries and lots of wonderful memories.


"When man ventures into the wilderness, climbs the ridges, and sleeps in the forest, he comes in close communion with his Creator. When man pits himself against the mountain, he taps inner springs of his strength. He comes to know himself."- William O. Douglas







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15 Comments:

At 6:13 PM, Blogger Sissy said...

How exciting for them. In time they will cross the highway I live on HWY 91. The trail is about 5 miles uproad from me. After they cross heading into Virginia, they will walk through or near to an apple orchard there that is now abandoned. I have walked some over the years - never an undertaking as your family though...no thank you! Tell them to be very cautious... The trail traffic has changed over the years. I wrote a bit about the trail in one of my past posts.

 
At 9:06 PM, Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Did they or you happen to read Bill Bryson's, Walk in the Woods. I envy them, I envy them not if you know what I mean. Hope you do cause I don't. ;)

 
At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger amelia said...

Anvilcloud

I have read just about all of Bill Brysons books and love his writing, often having to really laugh our loud!!

I would love to have hiked this trail in my younger days but the knees would like it now...

 
At 11:42 AM, OpenID goodnightgram said...

I wish them well. Thanks for such an interesting post. Quite an undertaking! I took Goodnight on part of the trail in 2004. Not very far, so I don't have any braggin rights whatsoever.

 
At 8:55 AM, Blogger KGMom said...

A neighbor of ours decided to hike the trail straight through (the other way being to hike it in pieces, then rest). Half way along, he broke down, mostly psychologically. It is a lone endeavor.
Do your brother & wife plan to hike side by side? What I understand is that everyone has his/her own walking speed and you can't really walk together.
Much luck to them, and good shoes.

 
At 3:36 PM, Blogger Tom said...

This sounds a very hard task... but one which I am sure the planning and thought that has gone into this will make the hardwork not such a challenge... positive mental attitude is what will be needed... I to envy them for this adventure..... yes for sure there will be hard times ahead... but facing it together as soulmates will be a blessing... Good luck to them..

 
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At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i absolutely enjoy all your writing type, very remarkable.
don't quit as well as keep writing as a result it simply just truly worth to look through it.
impatient to look over even more of your well written articles, have a great day!

 
At 3:57 PM, Blogger possum said...

Gee, it looks like you just got some interesting comments for some reason or another... strange.
I wish your folks well, and with a bit of envy will keep track of their journey.
I have been on bits and pieces of the trail both here in VA and up in PA. Tho I have been to Baxter, I have never tried to climb the mountain.
Today, if I can get thru the grovery store in one piece, I feel I have accomplished something! LOL!
Thanks for sharing!

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Hi Philip
Just stopped by to say hello and see if you have any new posts.....
Hope this finds you well my friend

Tom

 
At 9:18 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

let me know when they are getting close to Franklin, NC and I will send you my daughters phone numbers. They can pick them up and take them into town or to their house for a shower if they want and then take them back to the trail. Alot of the trail hikers stop there for the night.

 
At 7:32 PM, Blogger Cathy said...

Hello Philip
Hope all is well with you - haven't heard from you for a while and missed your weekly post - wondered if you'd gone a walking with your rellies??
That pesky Dawn hasn't done away with you has she lol
Take care
Cathy

 
At 8:13 AM, Blogger Sissy said...

Phillip, I emailed the hikers. Offering to meet them with a meal and cookie stash when they come out on Hwy 91 Carter co. Have heard nothing and now don't know how to mail them again. Can you guide me back to them. Odd that I got no answer yet. Appears they won't be too long before they reach the hwy 91. Sure would like to do this for them - admiration of stamina, you know.

 
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