Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Summit Photos

Kincora Ceiling of Champions

All along the trail, hostels and establishments that cater to hikers usually have a photo wall of past hikers on the summit of Katahdin. Places like the Kincora, Haven's Budget Inn and The Inn at the Long Trail have quite a collection going.

Earlier this year we made postcards of our summit photo and send a bunch to family and friends that we met along the way. Maybe we're hanging up on the ceiling of the Kincora by now too.

Monday, April 28, 2008


PCT Class of 2008

We've never been down to the PCT Kickoff (Annual Day Zero PCT KickOff), but this year we had a great excuse. To see our friend Clearwater off for the start of his 2600 mile thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Pictured here are some of the 150+ hikers attempting to hike the trail from end to end in 2008. It was a mellow festival with about 500 people gathered at Lake Morena, some who we'd met on the A.T. last summer... Matt, Honey & Bear from the cabin in Maine, Chuck Snorris & Tigger.

My highlight was hearing Eric Ryback give a slide presentations from his 1970 thrhu-hike, complete with his original Kodachromes. I was also impressed with the general mellow and friendly atmosphere, and the organization of the food, activities and speaker panels. And listening to Squatch with his improv humor made for some great times.

Clearwater at the Mexican Border

On Sunday, we drove the rest of the way to the Mexican border and dropped off Clearwater to start his journey.

Clearwater Heading North

After a few great days together and some goodbyes, and loaded with five liters of water, Clearwater headed north, unaware of the 6 pound watermelon we had stashed into his pack. I keep laughing out loud imagining him finding it after lugging it for 20 miles.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sunshine Expedition

I got an email this week from our friend Redwood.

Joined by his girlfriend Jodi, they will paddle 1500 miles from the Florida Panhandle to the keys, and then walk the 1300 Florida Trail back to where they started. They'll be keeping a web journal called the Sunshine Expedition. Sounds fun.

They don't have much content up yet, but it looks like they're sewing lightweight gear like we use, to lighten up on this adventure.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

VA Plates

If you live in Virginia, you can now get your very own Appalachian Trail license plate. Two of them have McAfee Knob and you can vote for your favorite version.

The don't have my favorite version though.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Lauren's Hiking Song

Lauren had a few songs bouncing in her head this summer too.

She made up this one in Virginia as we approached a weekend stop with her sister in Leesburg. It wasn't as much of a song as it was a rallying-chant that she used to encourage herself up steep hills, with plenty of pauses between words to catch her breath.

I... can not wait... to see... My sister,
My sister... and Jason... My sister and Jason.
I... can not wait... to see... My sister,
Amanda and Jason... Amanda and Jason,
*A *and *J!

*Fist pumping in the air

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Soundtrack of the Summer

We intentionally did not bring headphones or music on the trail, so we could be present and immersed in the experience of the trail.

Sometimes when hiking, a song would pop into my head anyway. Early on in the journey it might be "Georgia on my Mind" by Ray Charles among other songs that I just don't remember.

But Johnny Cash seemed to make his way into a high percentage of my mental playlist. I think there is something about the cadence of his music, and the way he vividly describes the American landscape that links his music to the trail for me.

"Tennessee Stud," came into mind often, but after meeting Winton Porter at the Walasi-Yi, the song that I couldn't shake was: