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