Sunday, March 3, 2013


March 1 was my first day on the AT. 
The trail passed through pasture and farm land. I passed close to housing subdivisions. I walked next to a tiny and not too maintained cemetery away from any road. I ended up walking six and a half miles. Although I saw footprints, I didn’t see any hikers. My hiking day was short as we had spent the morning finishing our 1300 mile drive from Texas and visiting the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, one of the groups that is responsible for the trail.
Yesterday was quite different. The trail passed through a deciduous forest. As none of the trees had leaves I had great views. The trail went over high hills and down into creek bottoms. At the top of one hill the trail went through a rock maze. 
The path went through a narrow passageway through a fissure.  The designers of the Appalachian Trail are famous among hikers for avoiding passes to go over hills. The term for these hills is PUDs or Pointless Up and Downs. At one point I could see a group of approaching hikers. The trail turned away to go over a hill and I only passed them much later. So far I love the way the AT designers laid out the route; the scenery changes constantly and I cannot help but feel that the designers wanted to give hikers the best experience possible. I saw my first trail shelter and I missed my first turn. 
There were even a few snow flurries. Today I walked nine miles. I am having a great time; the trip couldn’t be better.
Today was a short day. I had the choice of twelve miles, which is much longer than I want to hike during my first week on the trail or four miles. The four miles was perfect distance for me to experiment with wearing Keen sandals. If they didn’t work at least I wouldn’t have far to go. They worked very well and I suspect that I will be hiking in Keens for most of the trail. The trail continued through the forest that I mentioned earlier and I had the trail to myself.