Hello to all my readers from warm and sunny Nice! I know what you're thinking--Nice? Weren't you going to Monaco? Well. After finally winding my way through Liguria, down through the hanging villages of southern France and at last arriving on the Mediterranean Sea, I arrived at the final destination of the Red Trail, Monaco, … Continue reading Red Trail: Victory!
Hello, Friends! My last post saw me in Oberstdorf, waiting futilely for my shoes, which never arrived. I have since given up on the European post office, and I am buying my shoes as I go along, which is very frustrating since shoes that will hold up to the kind of walking I am doing … Continue reading Continuing on the Red Trail
Hello, Friends and Family! I have just completed what I, in a bold move, am calling the "Oberstdorf Eight." This is because I have basically walked a huge loop through the eastern Alps and then walked a straight line down the middle of it, thereby creating a sort of figure eight. I must say, this … Continue reading Return to Oberstdorf
Hello friends! This morning, I finished walking the Via Alpina Yellow Trail in Muggia, just south of Trieste. This trail has left me with many mixed feelings. In some ways, it was everything a backpacker could wish for--stunning peaks, charming villages, and an incredible historical and cultural heritage. On the other hand, it was also … Continue reading Two Down, Three to Go!
Hello, all, and thank you for your patience! As you know, my last post saw me taking a much-needed break after a difficult start. The following day, I took a lovely breakfast followed by a virtually flat, totally painless walk through alpine fields and huts that served fresh alpine dairy products, in which I was … Continue reading Via Purple: Victory!
I find myself watching gathering rain clouds in the distance from my hotel window. My legs are swollen from the blood and muscles that I have been burning every day, and my feet still ache. For the first time almost three weeks, I am clean enough to walk into a public place without getting stared … Continue reading A Rough Start
It all started with Alpine Bunny. It's his fault, really, sharing conversation under the shadow of Mt. Ruapehu in a stealth camp we set up in Tongariro National Park. "Actually, there's a really cool cultural trail in Europe that goes across the Alps, then back again. No one's done the whole thing in one season." … Continue reading The road goes ever on….
New Hampshire is known for being steep. Very steep. Some sources recommend backpacking no more than 8 miles a day, while others say to plan on reducing your average mileage to two thirds of what it has been up to that point. Hiker after hiker told me not to expect big days in New Hampshire, so … Continue reading Katahdin Fever
After struggling over the rocky, broken trail of Pennsylvania, the AT crosses into many smaller, New England states, and I found myself entering a new state every few days. From New Jersey, I entered New York, then, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and on to Vermont and New Hampshire. I was still making exceptionally good time, and catching … Continue reading Moving North
Following my time with Swiper, I began to take on Virginia in earnest. Here, the trail leads into the very heart of Appalachia, through never-ending deciduous forests, the occasional views that open up to more forests and towns, and on into the north where the Blue Ridge Parkway in Shenandoah forces hikers to lower elevations … Continue reading On the Dangers of Appalachia