Saturday, August 29, 2015

Appalachian Trail


The Appalachian Trail is a 2200 mile hiking trail that extends from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. The trail goes through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where we were staying a few weeks ago. The Appalachian Trail passes through the Smoky Mountain National Park, and we have taken short hikes on it there. However, I have no desire to walk the whole trail.  Really?  2200 miles without indoor plumbing?  I love communing with nature just fine, but when it is time for bed, I'd rather commune with a Hampton Inn.


Our Baby Boy planned to hike it one summer a while back.  He worked out with heavy packs for weeks before, made food packages for us to send him at certain points, and spent lots of time with maps.  He flew to the start (or end?) of the trail in Maine to begin his journey.  He successfully climbed Mt. Katahdin and started the 100 mile Wilderness hike.  He used a water purifier that make him extremely ill, and he was weak and dehydrated by the time he left the trail and found a doctor.  That ruined it for him, and he came home and plotted his next adventure.


While we were staying in Lincoln, New Hampshire, we regularly saw hikers coming off the trail.  Some went to restaurants, some were restocking their supplies, and some just sat on the grass and rested.


The containers below had cookies and other wrapped food for the hikers, along with an ad for a deli downtown (I peeked).  People who live nearby are supportive of the trail, and often have dinners to feed the hikers when they come off the trail for a while.


The Appalachian Trail is maintained by the National Park Service, the United States Forest Service, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. There are shelters along the trail for sleeping.