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.)
"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