Completing the Appalachian Trail
I went up to New Hampshire this summer to hike a section of the Appalachian Trail. This area in the White Mountains is one of the most difficult on the entire trail. I had a bad experience on the AT in 2010 and had to be rescued. So I made sure that I had some escape routes this time. And I had to use them. The trail was unforgiving and I do not think that I could have made my miles in a reasonable amount of time.
So I came to the sobering realization that I might not ever finish section hiking the AT. I only have a little over 300 miles to go. Thats about 13 percent left. However, it is the most difficult 300 miles from a terrain perspective. It takes a day to get to New Hampshire and Maine from northern Virginia. And since I am about to turn 64, the being in shape and age factor is definitely there.
So for the future it is my intention to go up to New England and hike small sections of the AT. I want to make these fun hikes and not something that may kill me. Thru hikers on the AT are at their peak physically when they reach the tough parts of New Hampshire and Maine. The section hiker that only gets up there once a year is not. One of my goals in life was to complete the Appalachian Trail via section hiking. But I have heard of, read of and witnessed fatal incidents in this region by those who thought that they had the right gear, were in shape or thought that they could make it. I respect the difficulty of hiking in this region. I may still accomplish this goal. But if I do not, I will always remember the people I met, the places I saw and the obstacles that I overcame.
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