Observations from Ridge Running and other news

At the end of this month I’m headed to a long- distance hiker event put on by ALDHA West! I’m excited to catch up with my west side hiker trash family; they’re laid back and gritty. And once I’m out there I’m never leaving…4.5 months out East was plenty.

The Appalachian Trail is gorgeous but there are a ton of people! Yes it’s good that people are getting outdoors but LNT is BAD on that trail and it put me in a funk. I considered thru-hiking it southbound this fall but my heart just wasn’t into it. Will it ever be?

Here are some brief observations from this summer:

  • Some AT thru-hikers think the AT is harder than the PCT
  • A lot of AT thru- hikers use Osprey backpacks
  • A lot of AT thru-hikers use a hammock for a shelter
  • Most AT thru- hikers do not misbehave
  • Most AT thru-hikers are friendly
  • Most AT thru-hikers have not thru-hiked before
  • A handful of older men boasted about having hiked the PCT, assuming I hadn’t
  • Two people thought “bandits” were  a problem on the PCT
  • A lot of Boy Scout troop leaders were weary of Ridge Runners
  • Corner pieces of drink mix packets and cigarette butts are the most prevalent “micro” trash items
  • The Appalachian Mountain Club is very bureaucratic
  • AT thru-hikers at the back of the pack are less discreet about smoking pot
  • Most AT thru-hikers do not like the trail through Pennsylvania
  • All Wilderness Therapy programs outfitted kids with heavy backpacks
  • Most people thought I was an intern

I will not be returning to the Appalachian Trail any time soon, but I’m glad I was able to get a taste of it’s hiking culture and make it look nice for others.

In other news, a “she-hiker” named Apple Pie invited me to hike the Hayduke Trail next spring! I met her briefly while I was hiking the Te Araroa in New Zealand earlier this year.

I am also interested in hiking Brett Tucker’s Northern New Mexico Loop, the Great Divide Trail, Pacific Northwest Trail, Wind River High Route, Kings Canyon High Basin Route, and the Sierra High Route.

AND! I’ll be living with Carrot Quinn again this fall, so I’m excited to bounce some ideas off of her!

Much Love -Chance

10 thoughts on “Observations from Ridge Running and other news”

  1. Cool. Glad you got to experience the AT, but more glad to have you back in the West. Wishing you a safe trip home–wherever that may be–and I hope you get to hike all of those trails you listed. Looking forward to your observations of life; kinda missed you this summer. Take care & be safe

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love reading your posts. I know it’s a chore but sure wish you’d write more often. Also love your crazy photos. Keep them coming. Stay safe and young.

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  3. Thanks for the update, Chance! And , for your views on the AT.

    So cool that you’re planning a Hayduke Trail hike. Lori Jo and I met several of those thru hikers on our annual Escalante River hike last spring. It made me so interested in the trail. I hope you do it!

    You and Carrot are two peas in a pod :). So glad you’ll be living together.

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  4. Always fun to read your perspectives and follow your adventures. I thought it was interesting how many felt the AT was more difficult than the PCT. The AT was certainly relentlessly steep in places, but I think elevation and snow hiking would make the PCT more difficult. I agree completely about the horrible impact the AT has seen. Aside from too many people, many of the locals seem to have no respect for the environment.
    I have putting together a list of hikes that I’m interested in too, many obtained from your list.
    You are very inspirational, and I thank you for sharing. Happy Trails!!!

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