Monday, February 28, 2011

Nothing to do now....but hike!

All my equipment has been purchased and training hikes completed....nothing left to do now but drive to Georgia and get on the trail.  I've been monitoring and lots of hikers have started or are about to get started this week.  It looks like the weather has been cooperating with the hikers already on the AT. Although it's cold at night, the weather during the day seems to be tolerable.
I'm in the process of putting together my first re-supply box which I'll mail before we leave on Saturday. I plan to mail it the Walasi-Yi Center which is about 30 miles from Springer Mtn.  There are other mail drop locations throughout the trail.
My next post will come from the AT!

"It's not the load that breaks you down.  It's the way you carry it."
Lena Horne

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Two Weeks to Go

Two weeks from now I will hopefully be in my sleeping bag on top of Springer Mountain in Georgia fast asleep. I don't know if you know, but each hiker on the AT has a trail name.  Rarely does anyone use his/her own name.  The trail names people come up with are limited only by their imagination.  Here are some of the names I've read about:  Sky King, Habitual Hiker, Jump Start, Cheshire Cat and Cool Breeze.

My trail name is Torch.  It's a nickname I've had since my high school days. Back in those days when I had a full head of hair it was bright red.  I ran track and cross country.  One guy who was watching me run around the track said that I looked like my head was on fire....thus people started calling me Torch.  The name stuck!  So I will be known by the trail name Torch.
There is another hiker from Indiana who also goes by Torch.  I saw his name on, a website for hikers. I'm sure that I'm older than him so I'm claiming that name!

When you're on the AT, "Life takes on a neat simplicity, too.  Time ceases to have any meaning.  When it is dark, you go to bed, and when it is light again you get up, and everything in between is just in between. It's quite wonderful, really."
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Getting Ready for the Hike

2 1/2 more weeks until we leave for Georgia and the beginning of the big hike.  We plan to leave Bel Air on Sat. March 5th and drive part way.  Then on Sunday Jan & Brian will drop me off at Ocalala Falls State Park to begin my hike.  The State Park, however, is about 8.8 miles from the actual starting point of the AT. There's a 2,000 ft. climb to get to the start at Springer Mountain. The entire AT is 2,175 miles and traverses 14 states (GA, NC, TN, VA, WV, MD, PA, NJ, NY, CT, MA, VT, NH and ME).  I'm hoping to do 8-14 miles each day, depending on the weather and terrain.
I've been getting my gear ready and organized. I've also been doing some small hikes in the area with my pack weighing 30-35 pounds for physical conditioning. I'll be carrying a tent, sleeping bag, food for my first 7 days and water... as well as a plethora of items to help make the hike more enjoyable! I'd like to keep the weight of my pack under 35 pounds the whole way. 
I haven't invited anyone to come along because of the commitment...but if anyone has a desire to join me please give me a call.  It will be approximately 6 months of "walking in the woods."

"In planning for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable." 
 Dwight D. Eisenhower