As we took a selfie on a day trip in Pine Grove State Park, at the mid point of the Appalachian Trail, Jane suggested that we write about our experiences. I questioned whether our musings would be of interest to anyone. After all, how many boots hit the trail every year and how many would-be writers chronicle their experiences? Would our thoughts be anything more than an egotistical exercise? We surely weren’t out to break any records or demonstrate great feats of endurance. There won’t be a single night camping and certainly no hefty backpacks. If anything, our trek will be best described by the words like comfort and leisure.
On the other hand, perhaps we can be an example of how relatively fit seniors can take on a challenge. Our simple goal is to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, have a good time doing it, enjoy the scenery along the way, and to cherish the time spent together.
Coincidently, today we saw Robert Redford and Nick Nolte in the film adaptation of Bill Bryson’s, A Walk in the Woods. Maybe we’re not the Bryson’s, but just maybe we’re on our own path of discovery.
Just to be clear, we passed the midpoint on one of our day hikes, we did not travel half the distance of the trail.
On February 12, 2005 Jane recorded her first hike on an AT section map. While we both hiked local sections at various times, this marks the moment when Jane transformed from an occasional walker to an AT enthusiast. After the untimely death of our son, Nick, Jane took solace in the woods. She discovered the AT though local hiking clubs. In her early retirement, she participated in many weekly trips sponsored by the PATC and the Mountain Club of Maryland. It was another five years before I retired and was able to join her. By that time Jane had hiked all the AT sections, and many other trails, in our immediate area.
What follows is an unstructured musing on our experiences.