Saturday, September 17, 2016

Hiking: Updates from Storm's Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike (8/24/16 thru 8/31/16) | New Hampshire - Crawford Notch to Mahoosuc Notch

Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker Storm (Moe) is now making his way north through Maine on the Appalachian Trail. He's over 2,000 miles into his Appalachian Trail thru-hike. He started hiking the Appalachian Trail on April 6, 2016 at Springer Mountain in Georgia and is now into his fifth month of his thru hike. Here's a look back at his hiking throughout New Hampshire in his own words:

August 24, 2016 - Blue Bird Skies in the Whites
Woke up on top of Webster Cliffs to voices. I got out of my tent and Pharmacist and another hiker were looking at the view from the cliffs. I asked him if he had seen Hazel and he had not. They moved on and I made coffee and had breakfast. I slowly packed up and more hikers came northbound. Finally roadrunner said he had seen Hazel at Ethan Pond last night and her plan was to hitch to the campground and take a shower and do laundry. Yes I know where she is now good.

I packed up and headed north. Climbing steeply up to the summit of Webster Mt I had fantastic 360 views. No clouds in the sky and Mt Washington was fully visible all day. There was a small descent after Webster and then a steep climb up Mt. Jackson where the views got even better. A nice family on the summit gave me an apple and string cheese which I was so thankful for. They were gone within seconds.

I continued on and stopped at Mizpah Spring Hut where I had a bowl of soup and some lemonade. I met up with Smeigal there who was the girl who I did the half gallon challenge with. We hiked the rest of the way climbing up out of Mizpah Hut, over Mt Pierce, past Eisenhower, over Mt Franklin, and the past Monroe to Lake of the Clouds hut. The hut was very busy and we checked in to see if there was any work for stay available. I was one of the last two to get work for stay and they asked if I minded hanging back in the morning to clean up after breakfast.

While they set up for diner and the guests ate the 10 of us sat outside and watched the sunset. It started to get cold out so we sat inside while the guests finished up. Once the Croo ate them we were allowed to get dinner. There was not a lot of left overs so the chef made us a big pot of pasta and we used the BBQ sauce from the pulled pork for sauce. It was fantastic. There was salad and chocolate chip cookies.

I was content and at 9:30 they shut the house lights down after the other thru hikers did their work for stay. I went outside to watch the stars for 30 minutes as the visibility was fantastic. I crashed really quickly and was thankful to be inside as it was rather cold outside. The 10 of us scattered ourselves to the dining room floor.

August 25, 2016 - Reunited
Woke up on the floor of Lake of the clouds hut at about 6 to the sounds of the Croo making breakfast. The 10 of us packed up and brought our gear outside so they could set the tables for breakfast. Most of the hikers got an early start but I stayed to do my work for stay. I made a cup of coffee and sat outside and watched the sunrise. Breakfast finished up and they invited me and roadrunner in for some breakfast. There were left over eggs I was so excited. We also had pineapple, coffee cake, and oatmeal and brown sugar for breakfast. After we finished eating, our work for stay was to sweep the dinning room and the bunk rooms. It took no time at all as with all my years of restaurant experience this was a piece of cake.

Once the chores were done I wrote up my journal and called the family. While on the phone I saw Hazel coming down the hill to Lake of The Clouds. Finally reunited at last. We went inside for a bit and Hazel got some coffee cake. We headed out after she ate to begin out 1.3 mile climb up to the summit of Mt Washington. We got to the top and there was a line to take your picture with the sign that read Mt Washington summit. We decided to say forget it and took our picture with the sign in the background.

We went into the visitor center at the top to get some food. I had 2 hotdogs and nachos. They provide an area for hikers to put their backpacks so we dropped off our packs and charged our phones. We continued on and descended down Mt Washington around the the Great Gulf. We passed Adams and headed towards Mt Madison stopping at Madison Hut. I went in to ask if they had any work for stay. They told me it was too early and that they like to reserve work for stay to hikers that get there late between 7-8. Hazel and I then decided to take the .60 side trail down to a campsite. The only other option was to hike 4 miles over to Osgood campsite. The hike down the side trail was steep and we lost a lot of elevation. Argh!! We got to the campsite and had to squeeze our two tents into one site. I fell asleep really fast after dinner. Hoping the rain holds off during the night.

August 26, 2016 - Leaving the Presidentials
Woke up in the tent at Valley Way campsite and no rain. Thank God. I had service and checked radar and the rain was coming.

Hazel and I made a quick breakfast and packed up. We hiked the .60 mile back up to the hut up the steep straight up trail. We stopped in the hut and filled our waters. We began the climb up Madison and the rain and wind started. It was slow going as we were climbing over slippery wet boulders. I started singing reunited and it feels so good. Hazel started to laugh. It's nice to be back together.

We summited Madison and started the descent. It took us about 3 hours to get below tree line as the rocks made it slow going. We stopped for a few snacks. The trail at this point enters the Great Gulf Wilderness and has no white blazes. You need to really pay attention to trail names and know where the AT goes. I stopped at a creek crossing at washed off and poured cold water on my head. Hazel changed into shorts as I got sunny and warmer than it was above tree line.

We started again and I crossed the creek and was on the other side and slipped on a rock and down I went. I crunched and the sound my body made as I hit the ground was terrible. Hazel thought that's it his hike is over. Luckily nothing broken and not cuts. Just a bit sore. We carried on and the soreness lessened.

We had one small climb up and over the shoulder that the Mt Washington Road sits on. We crossed over the auto road and descended down into Pinkham Notch. We immediately went to the cafeteria and got food. While I was eating Sleeping Bear showed up who I haven't seen since Boiling Springs, PA when him Cake and I went to the pool. I was very happy to see him again. I went down and took a shower and got clean clothes on. Hazel called Stephen to let him know how she was doing.

My sister was on her way up from Massachusetts to pick Hazel and I up and bring us to my grandmothers house to take a day off to rest. She arrived at 5 and we headed into Gorham to do laundry. We went to Chinese food buffet while the clothes were washing. We switched over to the dryer and headed to Walmart to pick up food for Saturday. While walking into Walmart we saw Dragon Head and Ninja. They were taking a zero after doing a brutal 21 mile slack pack from Pinkham Notch to route 2 near Gorham. Ninja had slipped and fallen and went down into a crevice that Dragon Head had to pull her out of. She was all bruised but thankfully ok.

Hazel and I had debated doing the slack pack but now said no way. They headed back to the hostel. We shopped and bought lots of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We grabbed the clothes and headed to grams. I was so happy to see her as it had been two years. We stayed up till 10:30 which for Hazel and I was like being up to 3am. We headed to bed and I fell soundly asleep.

August 27, 2016 - Gram's House in Stark NH
Woke up at Gram's and boy did I sleep well. We got up around 7:30 and made a huge breakfast. Eggs, blueberry pancakes made by Hazel. Bacon, orange juice, watermelon. We then headed to Lancaster to go to the library so Hazel could update her journal. I worked on Ancestry.com to update my family tree with some info I got from my Gram.

We stayed for two hours and then grabbed coffee and headed back to grams. When we got back we ate lunch and made sandwiches of turkey, ham and cheese, pickles, chips. We stuffed ourselves and then took a walk out back to the river. The water level was low enough that we could walk across to the sandy beach on the other side which we used to do as kids. We spent about 40 minutes down by the water and headed back up to the house to relax. We then decided to go up to Christine Lake and go for a swim. The water was warm but the wind made it cold. We swam for about 30 minutes before it got too cold to stand. On the way back to the house we drove by crystal falls to check them out. I had not been there for years and it was fun to take Hazel to see them. We got back to the house and it was time to eat again. Yay!! We had spaghetti and meatballs, salad, fresh bread and cheesecake for dessert. We stuffed ourselves again. Calorie load up calorie load up. After dinner we relaxed on the front porch listening to the coyotes yap. By 9 we all were ready for bed. I was gonna sleep good tonight.

August 28, 2016 - Wildcat and all its 4 peaks
I woke up around 6:30 after sleeping amazingly again. Gram's house is the best place to get a fantastic nights sleep. I got up and went downstairs. Hazel was already downstairs having some watermelon. I had a huge bowl of watermelon and brewed a pot of coffee. My sister and gram got up shortly thereafter and we ate an assortment of breakfast. We sort of ate all the left overs. My sister made us sandwiches and we packed up and got on our way.

Saying goodbye to my Gram was hard as I don't get to see her as much as I would like to. We headed to Walmart to resupply. Looking ahead as we go into Maine resupply is going to get harder and harder. Towns are 8-12 miles from the trail head. We will manage but for now we are doing a resupply for 6 days. We packed our packs with only 2 days worth of food and dropped off the rest at White Mountain Hostel where we will be staying Monday night. Hazel had a great idea with that. She gets big points.

My sister drove us to Pinkham Notch Visitor center and dropped us off. We said our goodbyes and she took two hikers into Gorham on her way home. My sister is the best to have driven all the way up here from Massachusetts to pick us up and stay one day at grams to drop us back off and drive all the way back. My body greatly appreciates it.

Hazel and I crossed route 16 and took lost pond trail for .50 miles to lost pond. We then took the wildcat ridge trail which began a super steep climb up wildcat. It was basically a cliff climb for the first two miles. The trail was steep with rock boulders to climbing up rock slabs to almost vertical rocks with hand holds. We made it to the top of the first Wildcat Peak. Phew!!!

We sat and ate our first sandwich that my sister made. While eating Mosey walked by and stopped to say hi. I briefly met him in Hanover New Hampshire while we waited in line together at the post office. We continued on to the second wildcat peak with the climbs not nearly as steep as the first. This summit was where the wildcat gondola comes up from the ski area.

We rested for a bit and took in the scenery. We then continued on to the last two peaks. These last two were gradual ups and downs. We finally had a view of Carter notch and Carter Dome as well as the Carter Hut at the bottom of notch. We descended down wildcat and made it down to Carter Hut where we ate our second sandwich and filled up on water. We rested and began the steep climb up out of the notch to the top of Carter Dome. This climb was not as bad as the first climb up wildcat but it was straight up stepping up onto rock after rock. It was like climbing a big staircase. I checked the radar on my phone as I finally got service again and it showed thunderstorms and rain coming. It looked like we had an hour until the rain.

We kept moving and made it to the top of Carter dome. We didn't see any stealth campsites along the way and had a gradual descent and then an ascent. While we climbed up Mt Hight gradually we saw a tent in what looked like a good spot. It was Mosey who had set up and he said to join him. Hazel and I were happy as we heard thunder coming and didn't want to get wet. We quickly set up our tent and did out chores before the rain came. Luckily the bad storms went just to our north. We heard thunder and saw lightning but nothing major. While I'm writing this a light rain is falling so we lucked out. 9pm and it's time for sleep.

August 29, 2016 - The Drop Off
Woke up to a dry tent this morning. The thunderstorms last night went to our north and only gave us a little bit of rain. We camped with Mosey last night which is funny as that is what Trooper calls me sometimes. We got up and had breakfast and made coffee.

We got packed up and headed out by 7:30. We had about 50 feet to go before the summit of Mt Hight. The view was really neat as a dark cloud was sitting on top of the mountain but every direction you look you could see sun on the other mountains. We descended down to Zeta pass and passed two people tenting. We climbed up and over Middle Carter and north Carter which wasn't too bad. However the descent from north Carter down to the Imp Campsite was another thing. This was the hardest descent for me on the whole trail. The combination of mossy wet rocks, followed by wind and bad footing made for a difficult descent. Hazel went first and we both were like what the heck are we doing. We laughed a lot mostly at the absurdity of the trail layout. If there were two ways to go down a particular rock we said ok we have a 50% chance of death. It took us two hours to go 1 mile. We made it down and cheered. We kept saying "precipitous drop off" anyone?

We were close to the Imp Campsite when Mosey and so-free passed us. We hadn't seen so-free since the day we hiked out of Hannover and he slack packed with us for several miles. When we arrived to the shelter it was a side trail .20 miles straight down so we said forget it we will just sit on the trail rest, and have a snack. After our snack we had one more climb up Mt. Moriah which was a gradual climb up many open rock faces. We were gaining elevation but it did not feel like it. The weather had been weird all day. Dark cloud sitting overhead became fog with mist. Then it lifted to be broken clouds and sun with high winds. We heard from a hiker that a large group of Thru hikers were stuck at lake of the clouds as the winds on Mt Washington were gusting to 100 and they decided to wait for better weather.

We reached the summit of Mt Moriah and began the descent down. The guidebook said it was a gently sloping trail to route 2 but the steep trail said otherwise. We later learned the gently sloping portion did not start until the shelter. We took our time down and reached route 2. Which meant 2 things. We went under the 300 mile mark for miles left to go and we are officially done with the Whites.

Hazel and I walked the .10 miles up the road walk of the AT to the hostel and checked in. We got our laundry ready to wash, took a shower and hopped on the shuttle to Walmart to pick up the few supplies we needed and to get dinner. We went back to the hostel and ate. I went outside and sat by the fire and relaxed. We have an all you can eat breakfast tomorrow morning. Wohoo!!

August 30, 2016 - The Ledges
Woke up at White Mountain House Hostel at 3am and was like what the heck. I streamed law and order on my phone last night via the wireless and got sucked in. They just released the next season I was waiting to watch on Netflix. I went back to sleep and woke up at 6:45 and went downstairs and sat in the living room. Breakfast will be served at 7am and is part of the price of staying there. They had French toast, sausage, hash browns, coffee and orange juice. It was delicious and filling.

We got packed up and on trail at about 8:30. We had about a half mile of road walks before we began the ascent up Mt. Hayes. The climb was not like in the Whites. It was up but at a much more manageable pace. We arrived on the rocky summit and rested in the warm sun. Several other hikers were there including Paisley. She is a section hiker finishing up the trail after injuring herself in 2014 she had to get off the trail on New York. We met her in the Whites and she has been in the same day bubble as us for the last week or so.

We carried on dropping down a few hundred feet before climbing up Cascade Mountain, which had lots of ledges which gave great views back to the Whites. We had a steep climb down to Trident Campsite where we filled up on water and continued on. We passed by Page Pond on our way climbing up to Wocket Ledge. I will have to admit there was a cocky thru hiker in his 20's today that seemed to try and catch me and pass me climbing up to Wocket Ledge. I heard him speed up so I did. He was huffing and puffing but couldn't pass me. I got to the top and he came at bit later and looked like he was about to pass out. I won!! He was coughing and choking. I said to myself yup keep smoking those cigarettes. I felt great yay me. Insert little devil on shoulder.

I rested and waited for Hazel has I took off running up the mountain. She wasn't very far behind and we stopped to have some snacks. We continued on dropping down and had one more climb up before dropping down to dream lake. This is where we hit the 1900 mile mark. I can't believe it we have walked 1900 miles. Paisley caught up to us and we hiked the rest of the way to Gentian Pond where Hazel and I took the double tent platform and Paisley set up her hammock nearby. We made dinner and I was ready for bed by 7:50.

August 31, 2016 - The Tough Day
Boy what a tough day this turned out to be. This ranks up there with one of the hardest days on the AT. I woke up to that sound of rain at 5:30 and fell back asleep. Finally at 7 when I sat up it was still raining. Hazel and I made breakfast from our tents and I made hot coffee. I packed up everything I could and brought my bag down to the shelter. I headed back to the tent and the rain let up enough to let us collapse and pack up.

We got on trail a bit before 8. The first climb of the day was Mt. Success which was a series of ups and downs getting you higher and higher. Lots of mud and lots of wet rocks. Made for a slow go of it. The top of Mt Success offered some views but with the clouds not as spectacular of a view. We climbed down Mt success which was steep and slippery. Slow slow slow. Once at the bottom we had several more ups and downs. Several of the downs were steep slabs of rocks with drop offs on either side. I was pretty terrified a few times due to the wet rocks. A slip could be fatal or really in bad shape.

Hazel and I laughed because what else is there to do with the situation. This is a good tree, this is a good root, we would yell to one another. We would occasionally yell not a good root not a good root. A southbounder listened to us for 20 minutes coming down a particularly tricky section and laughed that we were gonna start taking up pot to calm our nerves. We made it to the shelter and saw it was
.30 miles and said nah we will have our snack right here. We carried on and had to climb full goose mountain and its three peaks. We started up and had many wet rock slabs to make our way up then we got to the rebar ladder and Hazel said oh boy. I took a video of her climbing up as it was a perfect example of what we do out here.

We made it to the summit of Goose eye mountain west peak and rested. We proceeded on going down and up both Goose eye east peak and north peak. We then had a very steep climb down which was slow going. We had several ladders of rebar to climb down. For being under 10 miles of walking this literally took all day. We arrived at the campsite and we're lucky enough to grab one of the three tent platforms. The double had already been taken and Hazel and I finagled a way to get both of our tents on the platform. We used a log to tie one side of my rain fly to so my tent would not flood in the rain. We made dinner and relaxed before the rain headed in. Tomorrow we do Mahosec Notch and the arm. What fun.


Storm is posting regular updates from the AT on his Trail Journal

You can also follow him on his Facebook Page, Moe Hikes the Appalachian Trail

Storm is also working to raise money for charity as he hikes the Appalachian Trail. He currently has a GoFundMe campaign that is supporting the work of the Catskill Center to protect and preserve the Catskills and the Catskill Park, where Storm lives, enjoys the outdoors and volunteers!

Read all of Storm's posts on Adventures in the Outdoors.

For more information about the Appalachian Trail

You can visit the National Park Service's Appalachian Trail Park Page, which features a link to the AT brochure and map.  Guides and maps are produced and sold for the AT as it passes through each State between Georgia and Maine.  There are several books including the Thru-Hike Planner, the AT Guidebook, the AT Thru Hiker Companion and the Data Book to name just a few that can help hikers who are planning on hiking the entire AT or sections of it. We also maintain a section for Appalachian Trail Guides, Maps and Books at on Adventures in the Outdoors Online Shop.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Hiking: Updates from Storm's Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike (8/17/16 thru 8/23/16) | New Hampshire - Hanover to Crawford Notch

Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker Storm (Moe) is now making his way north through Vermont on the Appalachian Trail. He's over 1,760 miles into his Appalachian Trail thru-hike. He started hiking the Appalachian Trail on April 6, 2016 at Springer Mountain in Georgia and is now into his fifth month of his thru hike. Here's a look back at his last several days of hiking in his own words:

August 17, 2016 - Slack Packing
Woke up at Greg's house. Slept ok but for some reason my back was stiff when I got up. I made coffee and had some breakfast. There was a sandwich shop next store to his house and dragon head and I went next store to get a breakfast sandwich. We packed up and Greg took us back to Main Street in Hannover. He takes pictures of every hiker that stays with him and makes a book out of it. This year he has had 83 hikers stay with him so far. He was a great guy and I was so thankful for what he did.

We met Hazel and her husband at the car and put all of our gear in and I took my little day pack. The trail walk through downtown Hannover and then cuts back into the woods by the Dartmouth football fields. We began a climb which was not too steep. The terrain was nice and easy grades with a good trail layout. We were going to go 7 miles and meet Hazels husband for water and snacks. We boogied and made it in no time. We passed Old Spice and Axe and caught back up to so-free.

We stopped at the car with Steven and loaded back up with Mt Dew. Old spice and Axe passed us and then so-free stopped to chat. Hazel told him to throw his pack in the car and slack with us. He did and we continued on our way. Our last climb was up and over Moose Mt which has an elevation of 2254 feet. We had 6 miles to go back to the car and made it in about two hours.

So-free continued on and we headed to the campground. We stopped at a store so Hazel could get supplies to make spaghetti. We got to the campground and set up our tents. We camped in the same site as Hazel. The campground had a pool which I took advantage of. We had a wonderful meal together and discussed our plan for tomorrow. The plan is 20 miles up and over smarts and cube Mt. It was early to bed about 8:30 as the plan is to leave at 6:30.

August 18, 2016 - Precipitous Drop Off
Woke up today at 5:45. The plan was to leave at 7. Made coffee and had breakfast made by Hazel. She made pancakes and they were delicious. Ever since hiking with Luigi I always carry chocolate chips in my food bag. Hazel made me chocolate chip pancakes. Wohoo. We got in the car and drive the 15 minutes to the trail head.

We got on trail at about 7:30 and the first climb we had was up Holts Ledge. In the guide book it talked of a precipitous drop off. We didn't know exactly what that meant and thought it was on the descent. We reached the top and had a fantastic view. The trail followed ledges and there was tall grass and shrubs. If you stepped through the grass and or shrubs it was a precipitous drop off to your death. We now knew why he mentioned it.

We descended and came down to the road and met Steven at the car. Steven is Hazel's husband. We loaded up on water, Mt. Dew and snacks. We headed back out with 14 miles remaining. Our next climb was up Smarts mountain which had the typical New Hampshire rock climbs that I knew and love. It's good to be back in New Hampshire. The climb up was steep but the open rock ledges you climb made it interesting. There was a view point that gave you a view of the summit and tower. Ok that's where we need to go. We continued on and reached the summit. We had wood steps and rebar handles. The last mile up the summit was steep, wet rocks and challenges. We stopped at the summit and had snacks. We descended down and stopped at a bridge and a creek. We refilled water and began the climb up Mt Cube. The climbing was very similar to Smarts Mt. Lots of rock ledges and rock hopes. The views from the top were fantastic. We descended down and met Steven.

This second day of slacking was amazing. My body is so thankful for it. We got back to Jacobs Brook campground. I showered, made dinner and relaxed. Hit the sack at about 8:30.

August 19, 2016 - Mount Moosilauke
In talking about our third and final slack pack with Steven we decided to do our next stretch southbound vs our normal northbound. I was first like I don't know if I can do that but then said hey I'm still walking the same miles. This way we can start the day with Moosilauke instead of end the day with it.

We got on our way and reached the parking area at around 8:30. Steven dropped us off and we began. The climb didn't waste anytime going up. We passed a sign that said only experts should attempt this climb. Please be careful on cascades so there will not be tragic results. The first mile up was steep. We had to use rebar handles and wood block step platforms to get up all the rocks. The trail literally followed a waterfall and cascades up the mountain. We gained 3000 feet in 1.5 miles. It felt so good to be climbing this steep up without a big pack. In what seemed like no time we reached the top. The first mile super steep and then the next two miles were climbs but not too bad.

The last several 100 feet or so was above treeline and the view was simply fantastic. The wind was howling and it was cool. We took pictures and began our descent. Hazel and I took the side trail to the south peak and took pictures. We then headed down the 5 mile descent. We crossed over a few roads and met Steven in the parking lot.

While in the parking lot we saw the hiker yearbook bus and Odie came over to us to make sure he has got our pictures. I can't wait to buy the yearbook. We continued on after saying goodbye to Odie and Steven and tackled Mist Mt which was our last big climb of the day. After we reached the summit of Mist Mt we had a gradual descent all the way to the car.

We passed the 400 mile point which means we have under 400 miles left to walk. It was pretty exciting to pass that point. Tomorrow when we get back to the parking lot and cross the road we will have hit the 1800 mile mark. We popped out of the woods at 6:15 and met Steven.

We headed back to campground for shower. Then off to the laundromat and dinner. We topped off the day with ice cream and I ordered coffee flavored soft serve. A first for me. Tomorrow we head into the Mt Kinsman area.

August 20, 2016 - We Are In It Now
I woke up at around 7 am in my tent. The plan today was to pack up and meet Trooper and Chris Lovell at the parking area at the trailhead. Doug and his mom were coming to the campground to meet up and help Stephen lighten the load from the 3 of us and our packs and all of their camping stuff. Doug arrived and Hazel broke down and said she's not ready to say goodbye to Stephen yet. My heart broke as I knew exactly how she felt when I had to say goodbye to Jeff that first time in Marion.

So Doug brought Dragon Head, Ninja and I to the parking area. We arrived at 9 and Trooper and Chris were already there. OMG I was so excited to see the two of them. I hadn't seen Chris since December. They were setting up and had doughnuts, soda, Gatorade, fruit, chips, lunch meats and rolls. Dragon Head and Ninja met everyone and they soon started off.

I stayed until 10 and didn't want to get on trail. I wanted to stay all day with them. Doug was slack packing us and I needed to head out before Ninja and DH got too far ahead. Trooper and Chris did trail magic until 3 and had many hikers. Chris loved doing it and got a better understanding of the trail.

I started up the climb from the road and the terrain was tough. There were about 10 ups and down passing Dilly Cliffs and then I climbed up and over Mt Wolf at 3478 feet. The trail was muddy, wet and slippery. At one point I stepped on a board and went to step again and it wasn't wood but a leave. My foot sunk up to my knee in the mud and I thought I was going over my head. I was covered in mud on one leg.

The trail then descended down to Eliza Brook Shelter which was open bare wet rocks which ended up being a super long slip and slide. I stopped at the shelter to have lunch and Dragon Head and Ninja were there so I caught up. After lunch we began the climb up South Kinsman which was straight up and rock climbs hand over fist. We reached the summit to blue skies and a stiff wind. The views were fantastic and a panorama view. We had a short saddle walk to North Kinsman and not a very good view. We then had a very steep decent down to lonesome lake hut. Lonesome Lake had fantastic views of the Franconia Ridge.

We carried on and made our way down to route 3. We passed under both bridges and left the trail to climb up to the road. After a bit of confusion to where Doug was we found the car and brought Dragon Head and Ninja to their motel in North Woodstock. We then headed to Whitefield to the only motel room available in all of the White Mountains. I was exhausted after doing 16 miles and that was without a pack. I would have had to broken that into two days with a pack. We had dinner in Lancaster and I had a fantastic steak and cheese. Then we headed back to the motel where I immediately passed out.

August 21, 2016 - Franconia Ridge Trail
Woke up at Barron Brook Inn. Doug and I shared a room and Jeff's mom had her own. The reservation got screwed up online so they had to get a room at a different motel but got a free room out of it. I got up and grabbed a cup of coffee before jumping in the shower. Then packed my bag and went through my food bag to ensure I had enough food to make it to Crawford Notch.

I was thinking our little trail family got scattered to the crosswinds. Hazel was behind as she couldn't say goodbye to Stephen just yet and didn't get onto the trail until around 12:30. Ninja and Dragon Head had made a reservation at a motel in Woodstock but I didn't jump in with them on it as I wasn't sure what family was going to do. Good thing as with us slack packing we didn't make it to the road on route 3 until about 7. We dropped Ninja and Dragon Head off at the motel and had to drive to Whitfield to the only motel with a room available. So all of us started at different locations and times today.

We checked out of the motel and headed on route 2 towards Lyndonville, Vermont to meet my old college roommate for breakfast. We went to the Miss Lyndonville Diner for breakfast and it was fantastic. Heather, Meghan and Andy met up with us and we had a good time catching up.

We left about 11 and headed down I-91 to I-93 back to Franconia Notch. I got dropped off on the side of the highway and said goodbye to Doug and mom and started back into the woods. The first part of the day was a steady almost steep climb up Liberty Springs trail for 2.9 miles. Then I merged onto the Franconia Ridge trail which went up and over Haystack, Lincoln and Lafayette peaks.

Once you summit Haystack you are above treeline and the views were amazing. The visibility was clear and the scenery beautiful. The climbs up each peak were only a few hundred feet and each peak you gradually gain more elevation. Once on top of Lafayette I noticed that the clouds were moving in. I knew the rain was coming and wanted to boogie to make it to Garfield Shelter before the rain hit. Dragon head had said he was going to try and make it there today. I descended down Lafayette and the wind began to howl and really blew me around. I looked at radar and saw the rain close. I was running out of time and got to Garfield Pond and saw some stealth campsites and quickly set up my tent. I had enough time to eat, brush my teeth and put up my food bag before the storm hit. I'm snuggled in my tent in my bag as the wind howls and the rain falls.

August 22, 2016 - The Storm
What a wet and wild night. The storm really started to ramp up around 9pm and lasted most of the night. It poured and poured. Luckily I stayed dry except for some mist that blew into the tent. The temperature plummeted and hovered somewhere around 45. I was snuggled in my sleeping and was content.

I woke up to a baby crying. Wait is that really a baby crying or is it a child crying. I unzipped my rain fly and stuck my head out into the fog to see and didn't see anything. I went back to bed and heard it again. This time I got up the use the "gentleman's lounge and saw a girl mid 20's sitting on a log but didn't hear crying. Hmm. I began packing up and started on my way but passed the girl and a guy. I asked them if they were ok and found out that their tent poles were left at the last place they camped so they had to sleep out in the rain. They looked pretty miserable and she was crying from being so cold. I suggested they get moving to warm up and not sit too long in one place. They were packing up when I left and I began my ascent of Mt. Garfield.

With all the rain last light the trail was a creek. Lots of water running down the trail. It was in the mid 40's and winds gusting to 50-60 mph. I reached the summit of Garfield in pea soup fog and high winds. Didn't stay too long and then I began my descent down Garfield stopping at Garfield Shelter to make some chicken noodle soup. I relaxed and stayed for about a half hour and then pushed on.

I filled up my water at the creek at the junction of the trail and the side trail to the shelter. I saw the couple who slept out in the rain coming down from the summit of Garfield and they were moving. They didn't look happy but at least no longer looking like hypothermia. I pushed on and continued my descent down. The trail looked like it crossed over the creek but then there was no path. I looked down the creek and there were the white blazes which went straight down. You got to be kidding me. I think normally without the heavy rain the creek stays under all the boulders. Today however it was pouring into my boots on top of my head as I weaved my way down holding onto trees, roots and anything I could to avoid slipping. I was pretty wet.

The trail leveled out with only small ups and downs. I was getting pretty cold and arrived at Galehead Hut. I went inside to warm up and met Pharmacist and Sneaky Pete. They were having soup and coffee and I joined them. I joined them and we talked about our plans for the day. It was raw and even chilly in the hut. They were calling for wind gusts up to 85mph on the peaks today. Pharmacist was talking about staying at the hut and seeing about getting work for stay. Sneaky Pete and I were going to move to Zealand Notch Hut. I packed up and headed out at around 2 to try to get to the hut for 5.

I began my ascent up South Twin Mt. It was straight up at a steep pitch for a mile. When I reached the top the wind was so strong I could barely stand up. It kept blowing me over. I began the descent down and Sneaky Pete caught up to me. We started hiking together the rest of the way to the hut. We went up and over Guyot Mt and Zealand Mt. We came to Zeacliff and had a fantastic view of the notch and valley below. When we arrived to Zeacliff the sun came out and the skies cleared. Finally!!

We made the final ascent and arrived at the hut. Sneaky Pete is a fast hiker and I had fun trying to keep up with him. We asked at the hut if they had any work for stay left. Sneaky Pete was more interested in work for food more than staying over night. They told us they could use one of us and he told me to take it. They were getting ready for dinner and asked us to wait outside. Sneaky Pete and I sat on the benches in front of the hut taking in the views.

Two south bounders who were on the other side of the hut came over and said hi. They were doing work for stay as well. One of the hut workers brought out leftovers for sneaky Pete who was gonna be moving on tonight. After he ate he headed out to find a stealth campsite down the trail. At 7:45 they invited us in for left overs. They cooked us some bow ties with sauce as there were not a ton of leftovers. There was salad, rice, fresh bread, pasta, corn chowder and chocolate chip cookies. Yum!!

After dinner the two south bounders had some work to do but my work wouldn't be until the morning as I was in no rush to go anywhere. I kinda felt under the weather and was trying to relax and enjoy myself. I read for awhile while the two south bounders cleaned the stove. At 9:30 they shut the hut lights off and I went out to look at the stars briefly. We pushed some of the tables over and made room for us to roll out our mats and sleeping bags to sleep on the dinning room floor. I zonked out almost immediately.

August 23, 2016 - Zealand Notch
I had the best night sleep on the dining room floor last night. We got up at 6 as the Croo were beginning to make breakfast for the guests. I packed up and brought my stuff out on the deck and sat and had a cup of coffee.

Jeff had said possibly he would drive up and come find me in Crawford Notch but unfortunately I hadn't cell service to text him anything. The guests finished their breakfast around 8:30 and the Croo had me come in for leftovers. Corn bread, oatmeal, dried apricots, and sliced peaches. Delicious!!

I sat and wrote my trail journals for the next day while drinking more coffee. I finished and the dining room cleared out so I asked what they needed me to do for my work for stay. They asked if I could sweep out both bunk rooms and the dining room floor. No problem that's a piece of cake I got this. It only took me about 40 minutes to sweep all three spaces. Once I was done I decided to leave my pack and hike up to Zeacliff to see if I could get a text out to Jeff. I didn't want him driving up to meet me when I was no where near Crawford Notch. Luckily I had enough cell service to get the text out no problem.

I was hoping with my delay this morning Hazel would catch up to me. I told myself to be on trail by noon at the latest. When I got back to Zealand Hut I got my gear on and headed out. I had a small climb down from the hut to the side trail that leads you to the road that most people walk into the hut from. I continued on into the notch and was amazed at the beauty and the fact that the trail was flat for 6 miles. The trail wanders between Zealand Notch and then passes Ethan pond before descending down into Crawford Notch. I stopped at Ethan Pond to have a snack and to check out the view. I continued on and descended down to the road where I walked a mile up the road to the Wiley House to get food. I had a turkey sandwich, bag of chips, 2 cokes and a Powerade. I had been battling a stomach ache most of the day and I suspect it was from the curry sauce I had at Zealand Notch. I was hoping that this food would help alleviate that problem. Well unfortunately the stomach ache continued while I made the big climb up Mt. Webster. My plan was to get to the Webster Cliffs and to stealth camp. The climb up was steep but I took it slow and arrived at the Webster Cliffs. I found a great place to camp and set up. I made dinner and watched the sunset. I was passed out before I knew it.


Storm is posting regular updates from the AT on his Trail Journal

You can also follow him on his Facebook Page, Moe Hikes the Appalachian Trail

Storm is also working to raise money for charity as he hikes the Appalachian Trail. He currently has a GoFundMe campaign that is supporting the work of the Catskill Center to protect and preserve the Catskills and the Catskill Park, where Storm lives, enjoys the outdoors and volunteers!

Read all of Storm's posts on Adventures in the Outdoors.

For more information about the Appalachian Trail

You can visit the National Park Service's Appalachian Trail Park Page, which features a link to the AT brochure and map.  Guides and maps are produced and sold for the AT as it passes through each State between Georgia and Maine.  There are several books including the Thru-Hike Planner, the AT Guidebook, the AT Thru Hiker Companion and the Data Book to name just a few that can help hikers who are planning on hiking the entire AT or sections of it. We also maintain a section for Appalachian Trail Guides, Maps and Books at on Adventures in the Outdoors Online Shop.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Hiking: Updates from Storm's Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike (8/11/16 thru 8/16/16) | Vermont

Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker Storm (Moe) is now making his way north through Vermont on the Appalachian Trail. He's over 1,650 miles into his Appalachian Trail thru-hike. He started hiking the Appalachian Trail on April 6, 2016 at Springer Mountain in Georgia and is now into his fifth month of his thru hike. Here's a look back at his last several days of hiking in his own words:

August 11, 2016 - Finally Met Miss Janet
I set my alarm for 7 as a just in case. I was worried I would sleep in really late. I snoozed a bit more and finally got up and packed it all up. I had scattered my whole pack all over that motel room. I checked out and returned the key and started walking into town. I stopped at Starbucks to get an iced coffee as it will most likely be my last until Hanover, New Hampshire. I sat outside drinking my iced coffee when Dragon Head texted me. He had gotten on trail around 8am and was on top of Bromley Mt. He said he wasn't sure of his end point but said he would go around 15. I told him I'd catch up. I finished my coffee and started walking down Main Street headed toward the trail. The trail is 5.4 miles from town and I hoped I would get picked up and not have to walk all 5.4 miles. I stuck my thumb out and proceeded to walk. I know some hikers just stand still with their thumb out or holding a sign but I feel if you show your willing to walk it people seem to stop quicker. Sure enough I only walked maybe 5 minutes and I guy in a truck pulled over and brought me to the trailhead parking lot. We didn't get to talk to much as a work phone call came in but I was most grateful for the ride as it was super hot out. I grabbed my pack and thanked the man and started towards the trail.

I see out of the corner of my eye a van with AT symbols on it and I was like it can't be. Miss Janet!!! I had walked 1650 miles missing her by minutes or seeing her van drive by but there she was. Hunny do you want a soda she said. Yes please! I hugged her and proceeded to tell her how I had wanted to meet her but kept missing her. She was taking a lazy day but had been following the bubble north and was in Massachusetts the few days before. She is trying to catch up to people to give back some of their warm weather gear that she had been holding for them. Miss Janet was always ahead of me as the bubble was always ahead of me well at this point I have caught up to the bubble or the backside of it. Miss Janet is such a wonderful person and does so much for the hikers. She asked me "do you have everything that you need". I thanked her again and pushed off.

The day started off with the climb up Bromley Mt which was 3 miles from the parking lot. The trail and grades were not too steep and in no time I had reached the ski slope and began the climb up from there. The trail followed the ski slope for .30 miles before reaching the summit. Wow what a view with the bluebird skies. It was hazy but you could still see far. I descended Bromley Mt down to Mad Tom notch and then started climbing up styles peak. The climbing on this was much steeper and the trail went through really thick spruce forrest. There was a small view at the top and then I descended down to a small notch before climbing up again up Peru Peak. This peak had a wooded summit so no view to be had. I climbed down stopping at Peru Peak Shelter and eagle was there having lunch. I asked him if he had seen Dragon Head and he said he had and that he left at around 1:30 from the shelter. Eagle said that DH was shooting for Little Rock Pond shelter. That would be a 20 mile day but dragon head got an early start more so than me. I didn't think I'd make it but decided to keep chugging on.

I continued on climbing next up Bakers Peak. The climb was easy except for the last .10 miles where it was open ledge scrambles on an incline. There was a bad weather bypass so I always know they will be a tricky climb when there is a bypass. There was a blowdown across the trail and it was to high to step over and it was almost too low to go under. Needless to say I had kneel in the mud to duck under the tree with my pack on. I should have taken it off as it would have been easier but it looked at first it would be easy to duck under. No such luck. I stopped at lost pond shelter to wash my hands as they were covered in mud. It was only 1.7 to big branch shelter so I decided to push on. I thought Dragon Head might be at the shelter as the one eagle said he was going to was a fee shelter.

On the descent down from lost pond shelter the trail followed the big branch creek. The trail crossed the creek on a footbridge and I could see a fantastic campsite and swimming hole right next to it with no one at it. That's gonna be home. DH I'll catch up tomorrow. I'm sure he caught up to Lt. Dan and they hiked together. That's what's nice about the trail, it's nice to hike with others and your trail family but sometimes due to circumstances you part ways or can't catch up and it's ok. You will see one another again. I walked over the footbridge and took a side trail to an awesome campsite. I quickly set up my tent and laundry line and stripped down to just my shorts and went in the cold cold creek.

Boy did it feel good and there was a pool in the creek that was over waist deep. I was able to submerge myself and clean up the mud on my legs. I started a fire and made dinner. I climbed into my tent around 7:30 to write some trail journals. Tomorrow hopefully the rain holds off. It's supposed to be a rough wet weekend.

August 12, 2016 - The Whistle Stop
Woke up at 6am to the sound of Big Branch Creek. I slept like a rock last night and felt really good. I got up and packed up and packed up my tent. I made breakfast and got on trail at about 7.

The first half of the day was a gradual climb. I passed big branch shelter and went to little rock pond shelter and stopped for a snack. The view from the lake was really fantastic. After little rock pond shelter there was a climb up to white rock cliffs. The trail then descended down to Vermont 140. From route 140 the trail ascended up Bear Mt which was a tough climb. The humidity at this point had gotten so high that it made it very slow going. I was drenched and completely wet. I had to walk a few steps and then stop and rest. I finally made it to the top of Bear Mt completely drenched. I drank a lot of water and then began the descent. It was steep and super slippery as all the rocks were sweating from the humidity. I reached Vermont 103 and headed west to Q's Whistle stop to have lunch. They served breakfast all day and I ordered everything. I finished it off with maple soft serve which was delicious.

I checked the weather and the dew point was 74 and the temp was 85. It was hot as I was walking back on the road as the sun came out and was blazing. Once back to the trail I had a rock scramble climb up to a view point. Again it was super slow going and I finally made it up Beacon Hill. I was completely drenched yet again and almost couldn't drink enough water. There was a slight descent and then I began the climb up Killington. The plan was to stop at Governor Clement Shelter and continue the climb northward tomorrow. The climb up Killington was a gradual ascent and not too steep. Thank god as the humidity was getting even worse.

About two miles from the Shelter I passed a sign that said 500 miles left to Katahdin. I cannot believe that is all that is left. Wow! I arrived at the shelter and Hazel, Dragon Head and Lt. Dan were all there. I got the last spot in the shelter and set up before anyone else grabbed it. I walked down to the creek to filter water and to jump in. There was a deep pool which I jumped into and my heart nearly stopped the water was so cold. I ate a cold dinner and chatted with everyone to catch up on their hikes. The rain has held off so far. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

August 13, 2016 - Holy Thunderstorm
Woke up at around 5:45am and no rain. Boy did we luck out yesterday with the rain. It was north, south and east of us but luckily we were fine. The rest of the shelter got up at around 6 so I did as well. I made coffee and ate breakfast. I packed up and hoped the rain would hold off. I had no cell reception so I couldn't check the radar. I got on trail about 7 and was the third to last to leave. Only Dragon Head and Lt Dan were the only 2 left at the shelter when I left.

The climb up Kilington from the south was steady but not steep. It was a very nice grade. Only near the top did it become somewhat steep and that was mostly step ups among the roots. We climbed up into the clouds and it was foggy and misty. Lt Dan and Dragon head caught up to me and we hiked together stopping at Cooper Lodge Shelter for a rest and a snack. After we began the 6 mile climb down Kilington to US route 4. The descent down was a good grade with the only steep part at the beginning. When we were 2 miles from the road the heavens opened up and it poured. We got soaked and all gathered by the road.

Dragon head needed to go into Rutland for a package and Lt Dan and I said we would go to. Hazel did not need to go into town and was going to head to the state park to see about getting a lean to for us. In the state park you can rent lean-to's, cabins or tent sites. She told us she would text us when she got to the state park. I sat to empty my boots as the rain had stopped and the regional bus pulled over to see if we needed a ride. Lt Dan, DH and I piled on the bus and had to head north as the guy was at beginning of his route. The driver had the AC on high and we were freezing as we were soaked.

After an hour bus drive we got dropped off at the bus depot in Rutland. Dragon head had to pick up his package at The yellow deli so we headed there to do laundry and shower. Lt Dan headed in a different direction and was in search of food. We showered put our laundry in and had Chinese for lunch. The dryer took awhile and we waited around for our clothes to dry.

Hazel texted that the lean-to's were sold out but there was one cabin left for 50 and dragon head and I both said yes let's do it. We finally had dry clothes and got dressed and headed back to the bus station. We found out that the last bus left at 5:15. We headed to route 4 to hitch and a very nice lady picked us up within 5 minutes. We got back to the trailhead and headed into the woods. We only had 3.2 miles to the cabin in the state park. After 1 mile in we had a torrential thunderstorm with two lightning strikes really close. Dragon head and I were pretty scared and really tried to boogie to the cabin. The storm passed and we breathed a sigh of relief.

We made it to the cabin and Hazel said you survived the storm. We were able to take another shower and get into dry clothes. We settled down and found out we could order pizza so we did just that. 2 large pizzas were on the way. Thunderstorms rumbled through all night but we were warm and dry and very content.

August 14, 2016 - The Day of Ups and Downs
Woke up at 2am to one hell of a thunderstorm. It poured and lightning and thunder. It made me glad to be in the cabin safe and dry. I fell back asleep and woke up around 7:30 to Hazel being up as well as Dragon Head. No one was in any particular rush to get going and we technically had the cabin until 11. Dragon head and I finished the pizza for breakfast and we slowly packed up.

Around 9:30 he headed out as he needed to go to the outfitter to get new insoles for his feet. Hazel and I headed out short thereafter. The cabin was so nice we didn't want to leave. We had about two miles of flat climbs and then began the climb up Mt Quimby. In the first mile we stopped at Thundering Falls which is the highest waterfall on the AT in Vermont. It was really pretty and was flowing well with all the water from last nights storms.

We passed the guy heading southbound who is going for the supported record of the AT. He is running literally. I can't remember his name at this very moment but DH was the one who looked it up.

We climbed and I was struggling. This humidity is just kicking my butt big time. The ups are just killer on me and I go super slow. I can't wait for this humidity to break. We descended down Quimby just slightly to views of Pico ski area. Then another up. Jeff texted me that he is mom and brother were going to drive up and meet us at one of the road crossings. We picked stony brook road and I hoped we could slack pack a bit.

We began the last climb unnamed and then descended down to stony brook shelter where we rested and ate. We then pushed on to stony brook and waited for Jeff. They showed about 15 minutes later and had chips and mt. dew and sandwiches. We ate and threw our packs in the back and began our packless trek. We did almost 4 miles in one hour and met Jeff at the next road crossing. We snacked some more and said our goodbyes.

We had 2.8 miles to the cabin where we were planning on staying. The cabin is a private building but the owners allow hikers to stay at it. The climb up was steep and slow going. Hazel and I took our time and made it to the cabin about 7. Dragon head was already there and we set up and made dinner. The cabin has a ladder and a view platform on top of the building giving fantastic panoramic views. Very pretty. We set in for the night at around 8:30.

August 15, 2016 - The Block of Cheese
Woke up this morning at 5:30 to a wonderful sunrise at the cabin. This place was so neat. It is privately owned but the owners allow thru hikers to come and stay in the cabin as long as it's treated with respect. It has a main room with a fireplace and a loft above. There is a ladder which goes to the top of the roof where there is a platform with a bench with 360 views. Simply breathtaking. I hope future hikers take care of this so the land owner continues to allow use.

I packed up after having my coffee and breakfast and got on trail at around 6:30. Dragon head and I passed Hazel on our way out as she tented instead of sleeping with the masses in the cabin. We hiked 3 miles to Wintturi shelter where we got water and had more food. The terrain today looked tough but at the end we were getting picked up by Andy who's the husband of a friend I went to college with Chris Files. I went to school in northeastern Vermont, Lyndon State College. It was a great school and I made lots of friends there many I still talk to today.

Once we all left the shelter we headed another 3.7 miles to Vermont 12 where there is a place called on the edge farm. There was talk of fresh made pies and we were in. We walked the .20 to the store and bought all kinds of stuff. Hazel and Dragon head bought a whole pie which they proceeded to eat half each. I got an apple turnover and some drinks. Everything tastes fantastic.

We continued on and the big ups and downs began. We had 14 ups and 14 downs which just take their toll on you. On up number 5 there was a view which we stopped at to take in and to eat snacks. We continued on up and down reaching cloud land road where there was a cooler with trail magic and water jugs. The cooler had homemade baked goods in it. I had rice crispy treats which had fruity pebbles mixed in with it. Yummy!!

We continued on with more ups and downs. I was growing weaker by the minute. I remembered I had a block of Cabot cheese which I bought at the bakery. While waiting for Hazel to catch up I ate the whole block of cheese. Oh boy hopefully that doesn't come back to haunt me later.

We finally descended down to Quechee road and then to Vermont 14 where we met Andy. He took us back to the house where we met up with Chris. We were able to do our laundry, shower and had the most wonderful meal of coleslaw, corn on the cob and BBQ chicken all locally grown. It was fantastic. It was such a great night talking and catching up and letting Andy and Chris ask us stories of the trail.

August 16, 2016 - Into New Hampshire
We woke up at Chris Files house at around 6am. Had some bagels and cream cheese and coffee. I slept so well last night. Chris drove us back to the trailhead and was so nice to go by the Dunkin Donuts so I could get and iced coffee.

We got back to the trailhead at around 7:30 and began the trek on. Today will be the most road walks of the whole trip this far. We came down a road yesterday and got picked up after we crossed a bridge. This morning we continued on the main road for .50 miles and then went right for .50 miles. We crossed under interstate 89 and then the trail went back into the woods.

We had two climbs today. The first was up on the road walks to Podunk Road, then the second was up Happy Hill. The climbs were gradual and nothing too steep. The day was cloudy with a bit of mist. We only had 10 miles to go today before we got to Hannover and then we were calling it a day.

Hazel's husband was driving from New Brunswick to come see her. They haven't seen each other since April and she was very excited to see him. We stopped at the side trail to Happy Hill Shelter and had a snack and then began the descent. We were dropped out of the woods onto Elm Street in Norwich VT. We had a 1.0 mile road walk and passed many homes.

One house had trail magic out front of the house with watermelon, banana bread, rolls. It was so nice and the person who lived there had converted boots into two planters. It was pretty cool. We continued on elm street and then joined Main Street and had a 1.4 mile road walk.

We crossed the bridge over the Connecticut River and crossed into New Hampshire. Hurray, Hurray!! We arrived into Hannover on Main Street and walked past shops, restaurants and a Starbucks. The post office was next store and both Dragon Head and I had packages. My friend Chrissy from Connecticut sent me a bunch of goodies. I ran next store and got and iced macchiato. The store was packed and there was a big line. I got stares and sneers but I had a big smile on my face. Sorry people that I'm ripe and fresh off the trail but you don't I understand the desire for iced coffee.

When I came back outside Hazel's husband had arrived and they were hugging. It was so sweet as I fully understand that feeling. We made a quick plan to meet at 9am at Starbucks tomorrow to begin our slack packing. Dragon head and I did some errands like eating, library etc. We met up with Ninja who had made a reservation with one of the trail Angels in Hannover to stay with them. The trail angel Greg could fit 3 people per night and Ninja had set it all up. We got picked up at 4 in town and were brought to his house. The rest of the night we relaxed and I did my dishes and ate. It was a nice relaxing night.


Storm is posting regular updates from the AT on his Trail Journal

You can also follow him on his Facebook Page, Moe Hikes the Appalachian Trail

Storm is also working to raise money for charity as he hikes the Appalachian Trail. He currently has a GoFundMe campaign that is supporting the work of the Catskill Center to protect and preserve the Catskills and the Catskill Park, where Storm lives, enjoys the outdoors and volunteers!

Read all of Storm's posts on Adventures in the Outdoors.

For more information about the Appalachian Trail

You can visit the National Park Service's Appalachian Trail Park Page, which features a link to the AT brochure and map.  Guides and maps are produced and sold for the AT as it passes through each State between Georgia and Maine.  There are several books including the Thru-Hike Planner, the AT Guidebook, the AT Thru Hiker Companion and the Data Book to name just a few that can help hikers who are planning on hiking the entire AT or sections of it. We also maintain a section for Appalachian Trail Guides, Maps and Books at on Adventures in the Outdoors Online Shop.