Field Notes from the Appalachian Trail

20131129-174015.jpgWe reached the summit of Springer Mountain in Georgia, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, on Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 28th. We’ve finally completed a very long walk – a journey of 2,200 miles and lasting nearly 5 months – a journey which at it’s inception was seemingly endless. Now, having traversed so much terrain, we are left to consider where this journey has left us… more on the metaphysics soon, for now here are some physical realities we faced;

Start Date: Independence Day, 4th of July, 2013 at Mount Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine
End Date: Thanksgiving Day, 28th of November, 2013 at Springer Mountain, Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia
States Traversed: 14
Total Days: 148
Days Hiked: 134
Zero Days: 14
Miles of the AT: 2,186
Average Miles per Day: 16.3
…Biggest Day: 44 miles (as part of the 4 State Challenge)
…Miles Blue Blazed (hiking non-AT trails or roads): 60
…Miles Yellow Blazed (driving instead of hiking): 30
…Miles Slack Packed (hiking w/out our packs): 30
Nights spent sleeping at a drive in movie theater: 1
…in the yard of a neighborhood bar: 2
…at the home of a friend or family member or trail angel: 16
…in a hostel or hotel: 24
…camping or in a trail shelter: 105
Base weight of our packs (without food/water):
…Sara: 13lb
…NKO: 10.4lb
…average “full” load with 6 days food and 1 liter water: 25lb
…most ever carried (by NKO) including a 30 rack, 2 bags of ice, 2 pints of whiskey and lb of birthday Oreos for our friend “Shakes”: 50lb
Coldest night sleeping outside: zero degrees
Bears seen: 18
Poisonous snakes seen or heard on trail: 2
Calories burned daily (each): 4,000-7,000
Calories consumed daily (each): never enough
Pairs of shoes worn through:
…Sara: 4
…NKO: 3
Total Elevation Gain/Loss: 515,000 feet*
Steps taken (common estimation): 5 million

Cheers friends. We are thankful for you all.

11 thoughts on “Field Notes from the Appalachian Trail

  1. janet moyer

    Bless you and we are glad you have completed your journey safe and with so much to ponder. Would love to read your book someday and wished I would have asked you to stay with us….maybe we will meet again. May your new lives take you to higher peaks.

    Reply
  2. Sandy

    Dear Sara and NKO,
    Congratulations on finishing, and having the courage to live out your dream! See you soon!

    Love, Sandy (Mom)

    Reply
  3. Jan Rines

    Folks, CONGRATULATIONS from one of your long-term, but until now anonymous followers! I live in Maine, where the search for “inchworm” dominated our news for several weeks. The Wardens’ efforts to contact hikers in that vicinity lead me to Crunchmaster/Happy’s blog, which in turn lead me to you, and to Rash. I became fascinated with the AT culture and the topographic maps that accompany the trail, and have followed your three groups ever since (Rash had actually finished, so I read his blog from beginning to end, but you guys and Crunch, headed south, have been followed on a daily basis). I’ve really enjoyed your contrasting perspectives, which of course reflect your backgrounds. I will never be able to hike the trail, thus cannot thank you enough for giving me a way to do so vicariously! As a professional oceanographer, I’ve spent a lot of time in the Pacific Northwest (especially the San Juan Islands), and always smile when the personality of your posts remind me so much of being out there! It’s such a beautiful region – if I didn’t live in New England, that’s where I would like to be. But getting back to the AT, your imagery, social and philosophical ponderings have been captivating. In particular, one mid-October post pondered what your life would be like when this adventure ended – it was accompanied with one of your best pics of the journey (IMHO). Now that you’ve reached Springer Mountain, I do hope you will make a subsequent post or two as to what you do decide to do next, and how this experience influenced that decision. Again, congratulations on a job well done, wishes for happy, relaxing and warm holidays and with my very best wishes for an exciting future, Jan Rines.

    Reply
  4. Jaime Arango

    I am proud to have met you,you have inspired me to reach for the stars,I am extremely proud of your huge accomplishment to walk the whole Appalation Trail,I am Jaime and we met at the Hostel Hotel in Georgia,I would love to keep in touch,you are a huge inspiration to me,I will email you some of my pictures soon !!

    Reply
    1. clearandsweet Post author

      Jaime! we’d love to see your photos. It was great to talk to you just following our trip, and exciting to see you pursue your dream of photography. All the best!

      Reply
  5. Don

    Quite an Accomplishment! Thanks for sharing pictures and comments along the way. We enjoyed keeping up with your progress. Don, Kathleen and Kirk

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Holy Wow!!! Amicalola Falls Plummets From a Mountain Top, Tallest Falls East of the Mississippi | Homeschoolinghelicoptermama

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