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
Smoky Mountain National Park is known for the many pockets of fog that perpetually linger above the mountains and in its many draws, giving it a 'smoky' look. It is also known on the AT as being one of those crucial segments of trail that tends to sift the wheat from the chaff. Hikers begin … Continue reading Cold, Crime, and Camaraderie
During my time on the PCT, I spent many long hours contemplating how to lighten my pack, and how many more miles I would be able to do per day with a lighter load. I was well ahead of my four-month schedule, so much so that I actually seriously contemplated going ahead and doing the … Continue reading The Appalachian Trail…why?
From Snoqualmie, I started to edge into the snow again. Snow patches here were especially dangerous since the snow, melting during the day, had frozen into solid ice. On my way up, I met a couple of guys who were convinced that my insistence to go on was nothing short of a death wish. In … Continue reading PCT Finale
There is a small gas station and convenience store at White Pass. There is also a PCT log book, tables and chairs for hikers, and a case full of hot, fried, greasy food. As I came down to the store, my left leg started to feel some pain, so I figured I would let it … Continue reading The Pain and the Agony
The first thirty miles or so of the PCT in Washington are an exercise in patience. These miles wind around aimlessly through woods, obnoxiously close to civilization, with virtually no grand views of the mountains and are, as we say in backpacking circles, one huge PUD (Pointless Up-and-Down.) After completing these miles, one at last … Continue reading Hello, Washington!
Leaving Sisters, I found that I could at least pick out my general destination. Looking out across the landscape, I could identify the major peaks I was to visit, and at the lower elevations, I could even occasionally find solid trail. One morning, I found that the trail lay just below me--I could see it. … Continue reading Bridge of the Gods
As I came into Oregon, I made good mileage over easy terrain. The Oregon section of the PCT is known for being the easiest section of the trail. This is because volcanic peaks rise out of a flat plateau, so the trail tends to follow flat ground to the base of a tall peak, then circle … Continue reading Adventures in Oregon