Embed Size (px)
22 a .t. j o u r n e ys m ay–j u n e 2010 a .t. j o u r n e ys m ay–j u n e 2010 23
rsThe Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) now has more than 11,280 reports
of hikes of the entire A.T. posted to its register of 2,000-milers.
This includes 633 reports, which were received since last year’s listing.
Of those, 560 thru-hikers and section hikers completed the Trail in 2009.
h C o m p i l e d b y v o l u n t e e r G r e G S t o v e r h
Graper, Kendra Pudgie Pie Graves, Liz Klehm Hobbit Green, David Green Lite Green, stephen Mr. Green Tea
* Green, suzanne Grace Griffith, alan Thunderbird Grimm, David Chomp Gruszewski, tyler .2 (point-two) Guild, David
* Gunther, Fred Hazard* Haegele, elizabeth Rocket Hale, terry L. Buffalo Hall, arthur Blazer Hamilton, rebecca Squeegie
* Hamlet, anthony Pyrofly* Haney, Carol a. Rockamimi Hankes, Benjamin Gastank Hankes, nathan B. B.B.
* Hanlin, neal Walker O.G. (Old Gear)* Hardin, Kel George & Gracie Harlan, steven r. Fleegle
* Harner, Dede Skittles* Hassler, Brad Hoosier Hawthorne, shannon Short Bus
* Haxby, sara Joker* Headley, todd Frankenfoot Heavner, Patrick Windbreake Hemberg, matthew MudD
* Hennig, Chris Feed Bag* Henson, michael Tabasco* Herman, David Turtle D
* Herman, marrion Turtle M* Hess, jason C. Two Lions* Hewitt, David L. Ironman* Higgs, rocky Skunk Ape Hill, Greg Bacon Hill, jim Wingo
* Hitchcock, Charlotte r. Eeyore Holcomb, jean Calamity Jean
* Holladay, Cori alice Grommet* Holland, Carolyn Soaring Holloway, Daniel Mr. Right Horne, Benjamin Sideshow Houston, michael Wilson Coondog Howe, Katie Wing It Hrycik, Ben Camel Hubbard, Keith a. Huck Finn Hunter, Chris Hurley, ryan Keane Hitch Hutcheson, steve Tully Irwin, steven Screamin Steven jaanimagi, erik Brown Cow
* jackson, martha Kiwi* jackson, ray Papa Kiwi james, rebecca rentz Cantelope
* jardine, ray Plain Ol’ Ray jarsulic, james Jim Dandy jeck, jon One Shoe
* jeffcoat, eric Tweak* jobe, Kenneth L. Slagline johnson, Bryce Tarzan
2010* Brown, Bruce Floater santiago, joseph a.
2009 acimovic, Phil Ninja ackley, David Stewball akery, matthew jason Speedstic
* albritton, rachel Katchup* aldworth, Don Cruiser* allen, mark P. Bison alley, matt Snarky Snarkerson alloway, aaron Heath Angry Hippie
* almendinger, ron Loan Arranger altice, Charles aaron Dude on Couch anderson, michael Gezza anderson, roxanne Top Shelf arabie, anthony j. Union Break arensberg, alex Splinter armstrong, james James
* arnold, jeffrey r. Longhaul arnold jr., jack Wishbone arteaga, marcelo Don Coolio
* arterburn, Brad Ringmaster* ashbacker, rick Deer* atwood, Wes Cy* aue, ashley Holdout aydelette, Karin Tumbleweed
* Babarskas, Craig Otter Baer, jonathan e. Sneaks Baker, Kathy Honey Bee
* Baker, richard Daredevil Dick* Baker, robert F. Ball, David Yukon Rasputon
* Ball, jaron Big Bear Ballard, Kim 2 lbs. Basinger, nicholas Rojo Baumgartner, Christine Rock Lobster Beares, erin Das Boot
* Bevan, randy Handyman Biviano, robert Sunnuke
Blackley, shay Wander Blackman, todd Sparky Bloink, joshua Natty Bumpo
* Bowen, stephanie Tinkerbell* Boxall, David Dave from England Brady, matthew
“Older” of the Brothers Rogue Brake, jason Limbo
* Braunlich, Christian Home Fry Breit, joshua Stink
* Brekke, Bruce e. Featherfoot Brewer, jared Hoover
* Bridges, julia mayer Okefenokee Pokey Briggs, sally T-Toe Brokaw, jones m. Bonesey
* Brown, Glenn s. Yak Brown, jordan Liquid
* Brown, trevor T-Bone Brueck, john Spiceman Brundage, jonathan Moontower
* Bufano, Paul Boof Burge, Will Billy Goat
* Burger, ron Gray Beard Beaver Byrd, james W. jaybird
* Calder, mary a. Gofar Campbell, Caroline Sancho Panza Campbell, Christopher Moses Campbell, jacob Pit Stop
* Campbell, tom Pac Man* Carroll, edward Walky Talky* Chaffee, adam Black Toe* Chamberlain, David Goose* Charlton, jeremy Car Hop* Christmann, Heinz
Heinz the Walker Church, Kyle Strider Clark, elizabeth Chewy Clark, nathan Tekla
* Clark, William Roots Clohan, Gary Canada Collins, joseph Sunday
* Conlin, john Gator* Connelly, Brian Harrison General
* Corey, Dorothy Snowy Costanzo, Kelly Snuggles Costner, stacey Wishy-Washy Cotter, Zachary Burson Incognito
* Cowdery, eileen Jukebox Crosby, Clay Chief Walt
* Cuddihy, ryan Highlander* Cutting, Linda L. Nanigoat Czaka, Zoltan-Laszko
* Daileader, richard Da’Leader of the Trail Dani, Lino Icarus Dansky, Caleb Hill Raiser
* Darr, alex Postman* Darr, Gregory j. Toubab Dasek, nick Daddy Longlegs Davila, jorge Bearbait
* Davis, Brett a. Poptart Davis, Carson Stuff Sack Davis, nate Drunken Sailor
* Davis, terri Munchi* Dawes, Chris Tea Bags Day, eric Brown Chicken Dearborn, Peter joseph Poo Bear
* Delisle-mitchell, Donna Nature* DeLuca, marc Spokes Dennison, William H. Firebug dePolo, Chris Chance
* DePriest, sherri elaine Dreamcatcher
* Dever, Chris Daddy Goose* DeVoe, Chad The Teacher Diehl, Krisdin Threshold Dillman, ashley Pickle
* Dixon, Grey Greybear Doddo, Crystal Beth
Birch & Fancy Pants Dolci, emily Half Full
* Doughty, ellie Lady Samantha Douillard, mike Smiley Dow, mike TBD Down, jacob Don’t Panic Doyle, jordan Boofer
* Drew, janna Jabberwocky
Driver, madison Spoon* Duckworth, Chris Stuts* Dunn, alexander Ruin* Dunn, Peter Stonebrown Dupont, john Paul Duckman eanes jr., Billy C. Memo
* edwards, tim Will* edwards, Vickie Way* eilers, sue Getsupearly ellison, marvin Hoosier Ben emmons, nathaniel Gritty McDuff engels, Wade Bushwacked
* erskine, amy Wags eun jung, yoon MT Love
* evans, richard Pacer* Faassen, Graham Minne’Sota’ I.P.A.* Facemire, jon Pooh Bear* Fair, stephen Rugged Shark* Fallis, Bruce m. Juice* Fallis, marcia MommaLlama Farrell, nick UCOC
* Fissel, rob Foxtrot* Flanagan, Douglas* Flanagan, Peter* Fleetwood, Cynthia Ms. Muster Fletcher, Kevin Fletch
* Floyd, john W. SWC Foley, Dave Dah Wah He
* Foster, judith Novia* Foxx, Dan DUBS* Fraher, Ian W. WolfPack Francour, Brittany Dirty Mess Francour, Kirstin t. Too Klean
* Freeman, allen Monkeywrench* Freifeld, margaret Ultimate Flipflopper French, Kimberly a. Petunia French, ronald C. Treehugger Fromm, mark Country Runner
* Frye, David trevor Flying Scotsman Gannon, Patrick Kuru
* Garren, Bill Baltimore Gay, Brandon Goof
* Gay, marit anderson Moonwalker Gemmer, andrew Fidget Gerome, nicky Hotsauce
* Gilchrist, andrea Willow Gilchrist, eryn Lightning Gips, rachel Snorkel Given, madelyn K. Madelyn from Maine
* Goad, arlie a. Ace* Goloub, janet Gomlak, David Topofgothics
* Gordon, Chris Flash Gordon Gordon, Louis Sweet Lou Gornto, William Wanderlust Grabon, jeffrey Unplugged
* Graham, michael Child of Fortune Graper, Ian Mudslide
johnson, Chris Mr. Buffalo Man* johnson, Cody Gordon Bombay johnson, sherri Bubba johnson, tord m. johnson III, David
* johnston, Wendy Shimmy jones, roland Grizzly Jones joseph, jessica Angry Beaver
* Kapoor, maya Jungli* Keenan, tim Naneek* Kelley, ralph Mountain Man Kelogg, samuel Spirit Fingers
* Kelso, rich Dioko* Kiehn, tina Chunky* Killian, john K. Spin Master Killion, Graham Kimmel, Douglas The Phoenix
* Kinder, russ Trusty King, edward r. Shagbark King, elijah Apache King, tyler Patches
* Kinsella, tom Lakota* Klehm, Carrie Knickers* Kloehn, joshua Motor Klotz, Dustin Spicoli Koski, jessica Peanut Kraft, matthew Lunch Box
* Kressler, Karelyn Little Dipper* Kuehn, tori t Suds Kuehne, jeffrey e. Phoenix
* We would like to express our appreciation for these 2,000-milers who have chosen to support the Appalachian Trail as Appalachian Trail Conservancy members (current as of April 1).
t r e vo r “ SnaG S” pel l i n en a n d a n n i e m aC W i l l ia m S by “ baCk ya r d b o o G i e”
24 a .t. j o u r n e ys m ay–j u n e 2010 a .t. j o u r n e ys m ay–j u n e 2010 25
406G eo rG ia to m aine
(G a-m e) t hru - hik er S 68m aine to G eo rG ia
(m e- G a ) t hru - hik er S 45fl ip - flo pper S 111SeC t i o n hik er S
stephenson, Drew t. Statesboro* sterling, Patricia Double Shot stewart, mathew Fin Lunch Lady stiteler, Brendan Don Quixote
* storm, Leslie a. More Sunshine strelbicki, joshua W. Prairie Dog
* stroud, neal Gnarwhal stryffeler, Diana Bird suhar, john sullivan, sean P. Trampoline sutton, jacob
* suydam, Hank Bunyan* swaim, Zach Rocket* swart, john Zan Dawg* swartz, michael New Knees tarpley, Ben Gentle Ben taylor, adam H. Magic taylor III, robert n. In Deep
* telford, steven P. Just Steve terrano, robert Boston
* thomas, andy Andy from Baltimore thomason, Levi Bottom Bunk thompson, Ben Rusticus
* thompson, Gary Happy* thompson, jeff Penn - J thundershield, trevor Hatchet
* toledo, Len Amante tomlin, Blake a. Spider tretter, megan Ferdy truitt, Brian Professor tsuboi, natuski M I J
* tulip, joanne m. Tulip tumidalsky, joseph r. Blue tunstall, Greg Detour
* turner, Gerald W. Kanati* tyson, Chris Amero underwood, emily s. Chocolate Chipmunk
* Valvanis, Kristin Sled Dog* van Dijk, Daniel Blu Ray* Van Dyke, robert t. Waterboy Vandette jr., joseph m. Hot Chocolate Vickery, stephen a. Veggie Steve Villanueva, andrea Mocking Bird Villanueva, jessica Humming Bird
* Voris, jennifer Billyhoot Wachs, jason Steam Wade, Dan WD-40
* Waggott, richard Sir Richard Walker, Chris Odin Walker, Don Allgood Wallington-smith, George Wally Walls, jim Vista Jim Walsh, Chad McBride
* Ward, Connie L. Tag-along* Ward, Dane Tagless* Warren, Benjamin Primitive* Weick, Bethann Beth* Weick, maria Maria
Weisbrod, samuel Buckeye Weldon, Bryan Brewer
* Wells, jack Two Weeks West III, james L. G Fog
* Wetherbee, Pat Saint* Wetherbee, sarah j. Wind Up Wetherby, Benjamin Hatchet
* Wheeler, Karl Desert Fox Wiggins IV, john L. Space CowboyWilke, arthur Croc Star
* Wilkins, melinda Many Names* Williams, Harvey Jolly Rancher Williams, Leigh anne Denali Williamson, aaron The Kid Williamson, john W. No $ Willson, nathaniel Chert Willson, shawn Grizzly Adams Wilmot, michael Nordic
* Wise, amanda Truckin’ Wolford, Brian Col. Mustard Wood, jonathan Slick Wood
* Wood, matthew t. Wright, Brad Pusher
* yannuzzi, jason Sailor J* Zaccaro, justin Tank Zapp, jaroslav Walkabout
* Zhan, Lijun Highway Man Zirkle, jon Birches
* Zuk, mary White Eagle Zurbellen, Cody C-Zur
* Zuroff, C. Peter Alf
2008* Bartkus, arunas Arius Buckhanan, matt Buck
* Carbonell, rick j. BearWalker Carter, jason New York Minute Cheslak, samuel t. Leftfield Cummins, Lane Diesel Dusenbury, emma NoAmp ellis, David Big Brown Farahan, Daniel Chewbaca Foster, ryan L. Indian Summer Geymann, tyler Mudbug
* Hafner, David a. Thorny* Halliday, agatha Moonshadow* Harris, tyler Skuter Hart, Cary Borders Hodges, Kevin Kbomb
* johnston jr., Charles W. Free Will* Kenealy, Deborah Spidey Lampas, james Six-Toe Lampas, mary Fjord mcGee, jr., mark allen Crush
* mcnulty, james W. Dozer miller, Kirk Kirk or AYCE
* newsome, David Java Man* newsome, jane Tea Sip Perrett, Benjamin Daisy
rolax, Lance 4 X 4 ross, judith e. Sweet Sixteen
* ruddell, evan Straight Jacket ruggiero, Daniel Hi-C runnels, jessica Yogi russell, Christopher Hard Core
* ryan, Bradley sebastian Hellbender
* ryan, tom Tumbleweed Bagins* sands, Benjamin a. Catfish santa, stephen Splice sarfas, edward Kea schipp, scott Scooner
* schley, William e. Tailwind* schmidt, Charles Sarge* schmidt jr., Wesley Bronco schoell, David mark Hawkeye
* schoen, travis Curse scott, ryan Beauregard Shagnasty seese, scott Left Toe
* seibel, amanda Egg* seibel, Bob Buffoon self, Darren Jukebox Hero serre, Dorian Frenchies Blah-Blah
* shafer, Blake B. Lil’ Wayne* shafer, edwin “Win” Birdman shahidi, nima Linus Cloudbuster sharp, Dustin Bullet shaw, robert C. Tumbleweed sheaffer, Christopher Mr. Freeze
* shouse, Cathy No Nails simons, james m. Otter
* sims, james s. Purist* singh, Kabir David Harricharan Hummus
* skinner, Colin PI slade, jr., Bill The Bills slaughter, tracey Pokey
* smalley, jane Big Sis smalley, Lauren Double Vision smith, Dustin s. Dusty Bottom smith, edward (one of) The Smith Brothers smith, jacob Toothpick smith, michael s. (one of) The Smith Brothers smith, mike Ironwood smith, robert t. (one of) The Smith Brothers smith, sean stephen Safari smith, talitha Crazy Lady sneider, David Oddjob snowden, robert e. Lost Rob snyder, alex Spice Rack
* spanogle, steve Spreadsheet spencer, Gabrielle Solar System
* splittgerber, robert Padre* stacy, Clark Bones stanforth, Wes Panama Red
* stegman, ted Carolina
mangiardi, Ian Dusty * manning, Lee j. One Step maron, sam Samwise mars, David Sky King martel, jocelyn Frenchie martin, anne marie Hardcore martin, nevena Gangsta martin, robert Big Tuna martineau, stephanie Lucky Star mason, Kim New Day mast, Gerald Freebird
* mauer, jonathan Blacklist mazzone, Luke mazzone, matthew e. mcCann, Whitney Stickcake mcClish, Chuck Bugman mcCollum, mike Steamboat
* mcCombie, john Wis-pee mcDonald, rebekah Bound
* mcLemore, samuel a. Poncho* mcnair, stephen Big Tuna* mcPherson, Douglas Ramble On
* mcPherson, Dwight Rookie* mcQueen, Dan Tidanium* mcroberts, eric Rolling Stone meserve, jonathan Tuts
* meservey, ronald R.B.* metroka, Chris Firebuilder* miller, alex Padre* miller, Duane Longgun 5 miller, Loretta Lil’ Dipper miller, mathew Hermes
* millis,Bill Doc* mitchell, amanda Plunger* mitchell, Preston Lee Bojangles moor, robert Spaceman moore, Karen Loon moran, Daniel Stickcake
* morley, Kimberly Couscous* moulton, Dennis m. Y-Knot* mounce, abe 12-Pack* mudry, Linda Katydid* mullee, alec Sunny murphy, mary C.
Penny Whistle the Dueller
* myers, james j. Ranger myers, mary Grommet
* myers, russell Fisherman’s Friend naone, Gwendolyn Cyborg nedde, Donna Tenacious Turtle (T.T.)
* nickle, Gabriel Skip nora, Patrice Storm norton, Byron TNT nowakowski, malgosia Lake 2 Lake nowakowski, tomasz Manynames
* olson, Bob Big Bob o’shaughnessy, eric First Date osner, noah Honey-Do oster, Ian Laid Back
* Pacek, Wendy Tiger Bomb* Palmer, adam j. Topo* Palmer, robert Methane* Papp, michael Rock* Parkinson, Pam Burly Girl* Parkinson, thomas Bugsy Parrott, Philip m. Grits Pasini, joe Patey, nicholas G. Doc Pattison, Greg Early Bear Paulding, alice Snooze
* Paulson, Katelyn Lupine Peacock, Corelia Gaia
* Pegram, tim W. Footnote Perdue, Greg Poseidon Pesek, Chesley Dance Party Peterson, Carl michael Sawman Pettingill, tim Cargo Pockets Pettit, nathaniel Elroy
* Phillips, john B. Low Clearance* Phillips, john m. Wizard* Phillips, trudy Blueberry Phoebus, Betsi Firecracker
* Piccone, stefan Big Fish Pickard, richard Titeloops Pinion, Dustin Myco Polo Poncet, Virginie Frenchies Blah-Blah
* Pouss, matthew a. Tiger Price, michael Lumpy
* Pugh, michelle Cricket Putnam, William Giddy-Up
* rahaim, sarah Fender O.Rose rathbun, eric
* redding, erin Little Tree reighart, stephanie Evergreen
* reinhart, martin Wildcat relyea, Peter ACE renne, rachel r. Racheopod reynolds, Chase Feels Like Today rice, adam Blondie richardson, Benjamin Barron
Mission rightor, eric Ahab
* robertson, Danny Stretch robinson, Will Choo Choo rodriguez, Luis Freeze
Pipes, matt Chip Powers, Kris Scout Quimby, Bradley Shitty Forecast
* renninger, Warren Lake roberson, nikki Flop rollins, steve Flip rooks, Bethany Naps
* rowat, r. Winona “nona” from nowhere simons, Gregory Greg stewart, samuel The Highlander
* Walden, jeff Mercury* Walker, Christopher Kit Wimberley, michael Emergency Shit
2007 Barczynski, Hoshaiah Brisk Conroy, Patrick Hold On
* Forsman, roderick Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Getter, Bonnie Diamond / Diamo
* Grembi, jessica Lady Groman, andrew Juice mcDaris, michael Movin on
* nickerson, Blaine Blue Pigeon, Carie Scuffles
* rohr, adam Larry solinsky, Chris Spartan Williams, Brady Tater
2006 * Brothers, jim Running Bear* Kanoy, Gary Bucky* Latkovski, Christopher E.T.
o’Hara, michael t. Bonesaw Pardi, Frank Rael shy, eric C. Treefingers
2005 Gregor, sean Rest Stop silver, john History tamplin, sadie Goldfish
2004* segel-moss, adam Cliff Dancer
2003 Dabal, richard P. Lost-n-Found
* Gabrielsen, robert Sir-Packs-A lot shaklan, Paul Junkie
1999 Pedersen, Larry Pocono Professor
1995 Byrd, james W. jaybird
1993 Byrd, james W. jaybird
1976 youndt, Dean
1974* Whitehill, Lynn
1972* Porter, joe
Kurzban, Claire Memere* Kviatkofsky, nick Tex Redwood* Kviatkofsky, sara* La Coss, ron Bird Lambiasi, anthony r. Mason Landgren, jeffrey Karjon Lane, Larry Rockskar Larsen, joshua Porkchop Laub, andrew Camel Lawrence, ryan thomas Ox Lawson, anita Lightweight Lawson, Ian Mr. Ed
* Leachman, Cortney Berry* Leachman, joel Bark Leatherman, marcia G. Mossy Brown LeDoux, Chris Ducky Lee, Harrison Indy
* Lee, jonathan m. Leeman, samuel Stud the Dud
* Leichnetz, sarah Tufted Titmouse* Lemay, michael Jeremiah Johnson
Lemieux jr., Paul D. Blessed* Leon, robert Maya Guez Lesmerises, William Crash Lewis, andrew Zombie
* Liles, joe Braid* Lippe, robert Chili Littman, Dori Outloud Litwiller, megan Nutmeg
* Look, elizabeth a. Lydon, joseph C. Indiana Toad Lynch IV, thomas a.K. Leon Lynsky, abina a. K Bar macDade, Lauren Bob-bon macDonald, Faren Castle
* mackey, stephen Legs macnab, robert Chinese Tourist maguire, Christopher Maineac maguire II, john Phillip Corporate maker IV, archie D. Scarecrow
* maliszeski, steve Big boots* malkemes, Ken Never Got One* maner, michael Lake Sharp Tooth* manger, David Fat Kid
A fellow thru-hiker once wrote,
I’m never going to forget, or fail to appreciate things like ‘new sock day.’ I think that pretty much sums it up. k a r i n “ t um b l e W eed ” ay d el e t t e G a-m e 20 0 9
633 h ik er S— fo ur S t y le S o f t r ail Com ple t i o n:
m i Ch el e “Cr i Ck e t ” pu G h
a .t. j o u r n e ys m ay–j u n e 2010 47
A s I s e e I t
I first heard of the Appalachian Trail in my early teens. My younger cousin Ryan, talked about the Trail and his dreams of hiking it one day. I remember thinking, “sounds neat, maybe I’d like to do that too.” Time went on
and I had long forgotten about the A.T. until I was 15 years old and went on my first official back-packing trip in Joyce Kilmer Wilderness, North Carolina. I was in love, and the thought of one day thru-hiking the Trail resurfaced. The dream contin-ued to linger in the back of my mind as I made my way through the mandatory process of high school and col-lege. I would announce on oc-casion that I would one day like to hike the A.T., but had no idea when or how to tackle the plan-ning of undergoing such a huge expedition.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2006, that my dream of at-tempting a thru-hike began to manifest into a possible reality. I was in my first year of graduate school. I had been working since I was fifteen and had done little for myself over the years. I was fo-cused on work and school, barely keeping my head above water. Although I wanted a career, I also de-served to do something for myself before joining the work force. After some deep contemplation and conversations with friends I decided that after graduation, I would attempt to thru-hike the Ap-palachian Trail.
Why a thru-hike? Because I wanted to. There was something inside of me screaming to get out. The answer seemed simple and un-gratifying to most who asked me why. Others just thought I was crazy. A thru-hiker once stated that the desire to hike the A.T. is something that you can feel deep within yourself, but cannot find the words to express. I could not agree more.
From March to September, 2009, I lived out my dream. When I returned, the question on everyone’s mind was “how was your thru-hike?” How in the world do you sum up a 2,179 mile thru-hike from Georgia to Maine? Don’t get me wrong, I love that my friends, family, and even complete strangers, are
totally enamored by my experience and want to know more. But how do you even begin talking about the last 6 1/2 months of your life? I hiked. I hiked through sun, rain, snow and mud, with biting bugs, with pain, during the day, and at night. I just hiked. Yet I know that my thru-hike was much more than putting on my pack everyday and moving forward. I still have yet to comprehend what I really did.
So how do I answer this question? “Incredibly life-changing.” Before leaving on my hike I had a list of goals I wanted to achieve; getting fit, becoming
more spiritual, and becoming more confident. The list went on. I admit that I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Still, I knew I had the drive and
passion to stand on top of Katahdin in the end. Did I achieve what was on my list? In many ways, yes, but more importantly I believe that I gained what I needed from my hike. This experience provided me the opportunity to wake up to things in my life that I had either been asleep to or too emotionally weak to let go of. I will never look at the world the same, nor will I ever view myself the same.
I chose to get real with myself. It’s easy to be hon-est with others, but not as easy to be honest with yourself. I began to appreciate the truth and felt empowered to change. I have spent much of my life striving to meet the expectations and desires of oth-ers and have almost always put myself at the bottom of the list. I blame no one but myself. This has been a clear pattern throughout my life, and even through-out much of my hike. It took nearly 1,800 miles for me to wake up to the reality of my actions, but I woke up. I got real. I have no regrets. My hike was meant to be what it was meant to be for me. My hike was life-changing.
Rachel “Katchup” Albritton lives in Lenoir, North Carolina.
"A thru-hiker once stated that the desire to hike the A.T. is something that you can feel deep within yourself, but cannot find the words to express."
“As I See It” is a monthly column from guest contributors representing the full range of ATC partners, members and volunteers.
To submit a column for consideration, please email [email protected] or write to Editor/As I See It, Appalachian Trail
Conservancy, P.O. Box 807, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425.
a .t. j o u r n e ys m ay–j u n e 2010 1312 a .t. j o u r n e ys m ay–j u n e 2010
The American black bear,
ancient denizen of the
primeval Appalachian forest,
is reclusive and rarely seen.
However, wildlife manag-
ers report that both
its numbers and range
appear to be increas-
ing along the Appala-
B y B o B P r o u d m a n
a n d S u S a n d a n i e l S
14 a .t. j o u r n e ys m ay–j u n e 2010 a .t. j o u r n e ys m ay–j u n e 2010 15
ranging over almost 60 square miles of habitat. This underscores the need to secure wildlife corridors as part of broader environmental goals. In fact, the Appalachian Trail, augmented by the many state and federal forests, parks, and game reserves along its length, may be an important travel corridor for the American black bear and other wildlife. Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) director of conservation Laura Belleville has worked with Dr. Bill McShea of the Smithsonian Institute to survey wildlife along the A.T. in the mid-Atlantic area. This survey work has helped us to understand where wildlife species, including black bears, occur along the Trail in this region. Surveys such as this one, as well as studies to better understand landscape dynamics, will help A.T. managers enhance corridor protection for migrating fauna and f lora. Recently, A.T. MEGA-Transect scientists have been engaged in developing a decision support system for managing Trail lands.
Nancy Bell with the Conservation Fund (TCF) has worked with ATC and state officials in Vermont and New Hampshire to identify and conserve black-bear travel corridors through the Green Mountains from southern Vermont to Killington and eastward. And, more recently, TCF and others working on the Mahoosuc Initiative, have been instrumental in con-necting the Mahoosuc Range with the White Moun-tain National Forest boundary near the Rattle River, where black bears have been observed swimming across the Androscoggin River. At its best, the A.T. enables a symbiotic relationship — it protects and provides vital thoroughfares for the wildlife that make it their home, which in turn enriches the Trail experience for hikers.
But at its worst, human-bear problems may grow acute where both populations are on the increase, where people have moved into prime bear habitat at the “wildland interface,” or where bear habitat im-proves as former farms revert to forest, old orchards become overgrown but still produce fruit, or (more problematic) where exurban and suburban homes have unprotected outdoor trash cans, bird feeders, and pet food. One such area along the A.T. is New Jersey, one of our nation’s most densely populated states. There — in the northwestern corner, where it borders Pennsylvania and New York, and the A.T. follows both states’ borders — one finds rich natural black bear habitat augmented by suburban foraging opportunities. New Jersey wildlife managers report that bear populations are spreading, with bear sight-ings, road kills, and population growth now occur-ring further east and south in the Garden State.
In December, New Jersey will hold its first black-bear hunt in six years, a controversial decision despite nuisance bears invading residents’ garbage and bird feeders, or worse, attacking pets, killing livestock,
and causing significant property damage at private homes or farms. The New Jersey Fish and Game Council’s Draft Comprehensive Black Bear Manage-ment Policy, required as a result of a 2005 New Jersey Supreme Court decision, should help wildlife man-agers to proceed with an integrated management approach that includes hunting. Sadly, it appears too costly to rebuild the state’s solid waste infrastructure to require bear-proofing trash collection facilities.
Is the American black bear dangerous? Compared to its cousins, the grizzly, brown bear, or polar bear, attacks on humans are extremely rare. In the eastern U.S., the black bear is a benign animal for the most part. However, there have been three reported kill-ings by black bears in the eastern U.S. in the past 10 years — two in Tennessee (in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cherokee National Forest) and one in New York. In those attacks,
any A.T. hikers still consider a black bear sighting relatively rare, and a special treat. One thru-hiker recollected his Vermont sighting as his deepest spiritual experience, writing of his long walk many years later in the Tidewater A.T. Club’s newsletter. Nonetheless, negative encounters along the Appala-chian Trail, particularly at shelters and campsites where hikers and others fail to follow good food-storage practices or leave garbage behind, may be on the increase.
Ed Reed, wildlife biologist for the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, says that black bears naturally fear people and generally avoid human contact, even in park settings where encounters are likely. However, bears can become habituated to people and may grow to tolerate or ignore them. If people fail to follow good food-storage practices, this habituation can lead to the serious problem known by wildlife managers as a
“food-conditioned bear”— one that associates hu-mans with acquiring food. The mother bear, or sow, teaches this behavior to its cubs and yearlings during their first year spent foraging together. Research in
the western U.S. has shown that a bear will become food conditioned if it is successful as few as two times in 50 attempts to obtain human food. A bear that successfully obtains food by aggressive behavior becomes more dangerous.
In the worst cases, a food-conditioned bear will begin daylight foraging for food at shelter and camp-ing areas. It may be hard to chase off. (Banging pots, yelling, and throwing rocks will generally discourage a bear from approaching.) It is difficult to change the behavior of a habituated bear, but land managers may use “aversive conditioning,” including firing on it with rubber slugs or bean bags. Bears may be captured, tagged, and tattooed for future tracking. If the problem bear’s behavior worsens, remediation requires moving the bear to another location or eu-thanizing it.
Although the natural diet of Ursus americanus is about 75 percent plant based — soft mast (berries, apples, and other fruits) or hard mast (nuts such as acorns, beech, or hickory nuts) — these highly adapt-able omnivores are biological “generalists” — they will claw through a tree for bee honey, rob squirrel, bird, and insect’s nests, prey on fawns, and eat car-rion. They are opportunistic feeders.
Black bears are strong, with sharp curved claws that make them excellent tree climbers. The males grow larger and wander farther than mature females,
american black bears have sharp, curved claws that make them excellent tree climbers. although their natural diet is about 75 percent plant based, black bears are highly adaptable omnivores and opportunistic feeders. Ph otos (Pr e v i o us Pag e a n d a b elow ) by va n h i l l .
new york biologists prepare to attach a GPS tracking collar to a black bear captured as part of a research study on bears and backcountry camping.co u r t e s y n e w yo r k s tat e d ePa r t m en t o f en v i r o n m en ta l co nser vat i o n
16 a .t. j o u r n e ys m ay–j u n e 2010 a .t. j o u r n e ys m ay–j u n e 2010 17
dragged him in his sleeping bag before being chased off by other campers. That bear was later trapped and euthanized by state officials.
While there have been no serious injuries re-ported, there have been other incidents of concern on the Trail. In one, a day-hiker with a child in a carrier on her back was knocked down by a bear after the hiker’s dog confronted the bear. In another incident, a hiker sitting on his pack while eating a snack was knocked over by a bear, which then ran off with his gorp. Problems are most likely to occur where campers fail to follow Leave No Trace prac-tices, do not keep shelters, tents, and bedding free from food spills and smells, and do not store their food properly. Two A.T. shelters in Tennessee were closed for several weeks last summer due to bears attracted to trash and food left there. Persistent bears also were reported at shelters and overnight sites in North Carolina, Maryland, and Vermont. A.T. hik-ers have had packs dragged off by bears while they were taking down their tents or using a privy. In one instance, a hiker was awakened in his tent by a bear standing on him while it tried to reach the pack he had hung overhead. Bears that have learned to as-sociate packs and tents with food may go after such gear even if it does not contain food.
ATC’s Trail crews have not been immune. In the Smokies, the National Park Service provides an electrified bear fence around the Rocky Top crew’s food and cooking area, but on returning to the campsite after breakfast one day last year, they found a tent and some equipment destroyed. Also in 2009, four tents used by the SWEAT crew (which uses a bear in its logo) were destroyed by bears. In 2002, the mid-Atlantic crew van was damaged by a bear apparently trying to get at food that was stored inside.
A number of A.T. maintaining clubs have re-cently asked ATC for more comprehensive guidance to prevent or minimize negative bear encounters along the Trail, particularly at overnight sites. ATC and its state and federal wildlife management part-ners need to share findings and invest more effort to prevent future problems with black bear/hiker en-counters. Some clubs are installing food-storage systems, such as bear poles, food-storage cables, or
“bear boxes,” at their shelters to prevent bears from gaining access to hiker food. These are effective as long as they are used properly, but there have been some problems. Some cable systems at shelters have had problems with hanging cables becoming wrapped around the top cable or have been damaged by people, requiring club work trips to make repairs. Bear boxes have been used as trash receptacles. An enterprising raccoon that learned to climb the bear pole at one shelter had to be relocated.
How can hikers protect themselves, fellow hikers, and the bears whose home the Trail passes through?
n Pack food carefully to reduce spills and smells on your gear; launder tents and bags if necessary.
n Practice leave no Trace camping. Do not leave excess food behind. Pack out all trash. If you can, remove trash left behind by others.
n use food-storage devices properly. Do not place trash in privies or bear boxes.
n If there are no food-storage devices, hang food properly from a tree, at least 12 feet up and at least six feet from the tree trunk or substantial branches. Techniques for hanging packs and food bags can be researched on the Web.
n use bear bags or bear canisters. Ed Reed of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation reports that the required use of bear canisters for food storage in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks, an area that previously had many bear/hiker problems, has achieved a 95 percent compliance rate among hikers and reduced black bear food-conditioning to near zero. Bear-resistant products can be found on the Web.
n do not cook near your tent or keep food in it.
n never deliberately feed a bear. In some locations, it is illegal even to feed them inadvertently. Feeding bears and storing food improperly in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park can result in fines of up to $5,000 and jail sentences lasting up to six months.
n never run from a bear. In the very unlikely event of an actual attack, fight back.
As visitors to the bruin’s neighborhood, we owe the black bear, superbly adapted to sniff out foodstuffs, better behavior. Our simple failure to put away the Oreo cookies may ultimately result in the death of a bear, or worse. Let’s clean up our acts.
the bears were acting in a predatory manner, not just attempting to get food from someone.
Black bear expert Steven Herrero believes that the combination of habituation, food conditioning, and rewarding aggressive behavior increases the chances of a bear causing serious injury to a person. In con-trast, Herrero believes that bears involved in human fatalities are more likely to be found “in rural or remote areas — where they have had relatively little association with people,” which he states in the book Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance.
Almost every year, reports come in of bears steal-ing food, damaging tents or packs, or being highly persistent and difficult to chase off at various shelters and campsites along the Trail. There have been two serious reported incidents at overnight sites. The first occurred in Pennsylvania in 2004, when a woman sleeping in a bivy sack at a campsite on state game lands suffered bruises after being dragged about 35 feet by a bear. In 2005, at a shelter in New Jersey, a bear grabbed a sleeping camper by the leg and
above: a tranquilized, male black bear has been fitted with ear tags and a GPS tracking collar after being caught in a culvert trap. The combination of habituation, food conditioning, and rewarding aggressive behavior can increase the chances of a bear causing serious injury to a person. co u r t e s y n e w yo r k s tat e d ePa r t m en t o f en v i r o n m en ta l co nser vat i o n
For more information visit:
www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw according to leave no Trace standards, bear bags should be hung properly from a tree, at least 12 feet off the ground.Ph oto co u r t e s y l e av e n o t r ace cen t er fo r o u t d o o r e t h i c s
Problems are most likely to occur where campers fail to follow Leave No Trace practices, do not keep shelters, tents, and bedding free from food spills and smells, and do not store their food properly.
a .t. j o u r n e ys m ay–j u n e 2010 31
The h a lf way point of the Appalachian Trail is rough-ly 45 miles south of Duncannon, Pennsylvania, near Pine Grove Furnace State Park. It’s at the little general store in the park that northbound thru-hikers traditionally celebrate reaching the midpoint of their trek by consuming a half-gallon of ice cream.
If you sit on the porch of the store, though, and talk to those dairy gluttons, you’ll soon learn that as much as they enjoy gorging on that carton of Rocky Road or Neapolitan, the cel-ebration most of them are really looking forward to will come a few days later when they reach the legendary Doyle Hotel.
Originally built by Adolphus Busch, the co-founder of the Anheuser Busch Brewing Company, the Doyle maintains its sudsy tradition, serving a solid variety of brews, including that unofficial, official beer of the A.T., Yuengling Lager, the choice of most hikers as they toast having passed the midpoint of their journey.
Since Pat and Vickey Kelly took the place over in 2001, the Doyle has also been known for Pat’s fine cooking. Burgers as big as your head and plates of fresh cut fries piled nearly as high as nearby Cove Mountain are probably the most popular menu items with hikers, who make up more than 50 percent of the Doyle’s clientele; though beer and burgers are hardly all the place has to offer its walk-in crowds. The hotel offers a full menu of southern-influenced entrees, cheap rooms, hot showers, free internet service, and one of the best juke boxes you will find anywhere, filled with an eclectic mix of CDs handpicked by Pat
Haven at the Halfway Point
t e x t a n d P h o t o s
B y C h r i s a . C o u r o g e n
Left: An A.T. hiker is featured prominently on the Duncannon Community Mural, which was completed in 2004. More than 600 members of the community helped paint the mural, located on the side of a local house along the Trail.; Above: Doyle Hotel owners Pat and Vickey Kelly chat with thru-hiker Duane
“Long Gun” Miller, as he signs the Doyle’s Trail registry during a beer break from his hike.
Kelly himself. Since taking over the Doyle, the Kellys have worked hard, both at their hotel and with other businesses in town, to make sure hikers can find what they require when they hit Duncannon.“We’re like concierges,” says Vickey Kelly. “We try to find out what the hikers need.”
That philosophy resulted in an arrangement with a local doctor who works hikers into her busy schedule when they need medical care, and a shuttle to the local supermarket, which carries a lot of hiker-friendly items.“Pat will tell me what they are looking for and we try to get it in,” says Stan Mutzabaugh, of Mutzabaugh’s Market, who agreed to run a shuttle for hikers looking to resupply after Pat and Vicky explained how danger-ous the one-mile road walk was from the hotel to his store.
Most hikers who spend a night in one of the Doyle’s 17 rooms start their day across the street at Goodies, an unpretentious
D U N C A N N O N
P E N N S Y L VA N I A
32 a .t. j o u r n e ys m ay–j u n e 2010
little eatery that gets so much hiker traffic from mid-May through early July — the peak of thru-hiker season in Duncan-non — they actually have to hire extra seasonal help. “We get pretty full with hikers. They go crazy over our pancakes,” says Katrina King, the owner’s daughter, who credits Vickey Kelly with helping fuel the restaurant’s popularity with hikers by sending them across the street for breakfast.
Duncannon has a real appreciation for the hikers who pass through, says Fred Lauster, the former president of the borough’s council who, in his role as chair of its parks and recreation committee, helps facilitate the annual Billville Hiker Feed and Feast, held each summer in the town’s community park.
Hikers camp for free on the park’s baseball field, and hang out under the park’s pavilion while stuffing themselves on a three-day feast served up under the watchful eye of Duncannon resident Mary Parry, better known to hikers as “Trailangel Mary.” “Duncannon is known as a hiker friendly town. We sort of cater to hikers,” says Lauster. “The town takes pride in having a mile of the Appalachian Trail run right through Duncannon.”
“It’s a quiet town,” says King, “it’s probably the biggest thing of the year when the hikers come through.”
The appreciation is a two-way street. “The people in Duncan-non really focus on the hikers,” says Larry Luxenberg, president of the Appalachian Trail Museum Society, who walked through the town on his way from Springer to Katahdin in 1980. “It is a great Trail town. The people are very welcoming.” Hikers will
tell you that attitude is what sets Duncannon apart from some other towns along the Trail.
“I love the town. It’s so neat to walk through. As I hiked out of town, I passed kids on their way to school. They all waved and said hello,” said Harold “Over the Edge” Fred, a section hiker from Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. “The whole town re-ally loves hikers.”
What’s not to love? “They are really friendly people,” says Mutzabaugh.“It brightens my day when I am able to greet hik-ers and they stop to talk to me,” says Duncannon resident Daphne Cotton. “It is an enjoyable experience to communicate with them.” Cotton says the hikers give her children a window on the world that is not commonly found in such a small, rural community. “The kids like to hear about where they come from, where they are going. In a town this size, it helps; you realize the rest of the world is alive and well.” The A.T. is “part of what this community is about,” said borough manager Tanuya Mat-ter. “It’s a part of the town.” “We are proud of the relationship we have, being where we are on the Trail,” added Cotton. “There is an attitude in town that we want to embrace them.”
Clockwise from right: The Trail, enters Duncannon from the south and runs right down Market Street; the Norfolk Southern Railroad’s main line runs along the Susquehanna River through Duncannon. From the river bank, northbound hikers can preview what is ahead; the public library, located in one of the town’s churches, welcomes hikers and offers free internet service, drinks, snacks, and supplies; “Trailangel Mary” Parry points to her 1984 Dodge Diplomat “Hikermobile.” Parry had hikers, who rode in her car, sign the unique Trail register on wheels. Though it was retired in March, the roof, trunk lid, and front hood will be part of the new A.T. Museum’s collection.