My Appalachian Trial Section Hike, 2011:  First Entry

The Appalachian Trail, or “AT”,  is one of three popular long distance hikes in the US.  At 2169 miles from Georgia to Maine, it’s a 5-6 month journey that about 2000 people attempt every year (about 200 actually finish).   It’s maintained by over 30 volunteer organizations, 6000+ volunteers and has about 250 shelters (“lean-to’s” up north) for hikers to use as they make their journey.  On the trail you find friends along the way and form groups, each person getting a trail name.  Often this “hiker bond” will stay with you for life.  Ed Garvey, the first person to write a guidebook to this trail and probably the person responsible for it’s huge popularity today coined it as “the adventure of a lifetime”.

There’s no way I’ll complete the whole trail by the time I go to Navy basic in July, so I’m aiming at doing half the trail from Georgia to West Virginia, or 1007 miles.  Even so, it sure blows away my longest hike to date of 30 miles over a weekend.  From what I read, when I get to West Virginia I will have taken about 2.5 million steps. THIS is the real deal. I probably won’t have any more entries until I’m on the trail stopping in towns along the way to update this.  One of the big reasons, besides writing about the adventure and posting up pics for friends & family, is to mark where I am and when.  Hopefully one of you will read this and decide to join me on a section for a week or even a weekend.  I’ll try to let ya know ahead of time when I’m getting to a really good scenic part, or some place that would be worth the travel to do.

So, I have about 2 1/2 months to get ready for this.  Step 1: Um, Google?  Help?

Good Info Pages Online:

Wikipedia’s AT page

Trailnet: AT Trail FAQ Page

Mahalo: How to Hike the AT

Stove Comparisons – Real World Use

Stove Comparisons – Real World Use

AT Conservancy: Planning A Thru-Hike

Choosing the Right Sleeping Bag