Sunday, August 30, 2009

Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire

"The grouse are in nodanger at all from people who shoot grouse", Prince Philip
These were two of the last pictures I took before my camera went out on me. We were just approaching Franconia Ridge when I ran across the grouse on the fallen tree. Every since Georgia I had seen Grouse, but they fled before I got near them. In this case though it just stayed there beside the trail and watched as I passed by. I was pretty amazed and then not ten minutes later I ran across this second grouse just sitting in the middle of the trail. It did not seem to mind at all that I was trying to get by.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Appalachian Trail - Georgia - Shelters

The picture of the shelter in the previous post is not a good representation of the shelters. I thought I would post a few more. This stone shelter is located on Blood Mountain. Because it is so exposed, they built this shelter with four walls, but as you can see there are no windows, etc so it stays pretty chilly. I had planned on staying there but arrived early and decided to head on down to Neels Gap for the night.

I do not have the name of the second shelter pictures, but this is more representative of what most shelters look like. Some may be a bit wider, but most of them are of a log type and are rather old. I will say that most shelters did not seem to leak. I think the trail maintainers do a good job keeping the roofs in good shape.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Home away from Home - Appalachian Trail

Not everyone, but it seems most people prefer to stay in the shelters. I have tried shelters a handful of times, and when it is raining it is nice to be able to just walk right in, but for the most part I just about always setup my hammock. I just wanted to include a picture of a typical shelter and my hammock setup. One thing I should note, most shelters are rodent infested. Well that is unless they have a resident snake to keep the mice under control, and yes some shelters do have snakes living in them. I usually hung my food more to keep the mice out than to keep the bears away.

Appalachian Trail

Well I am back home in Mississippi, but I am not done. I still have several miles to go in Maine, but I am going to do it with the leaf season. Most of the mountains are behind me and I feel comfortable that I can finish the trail with the extra weight of my Canon SLR and my lenses. I have been itching to do some night photography as well and with the lakes and dark skies I think I am going to have some great opportunities. In the meantime while I am home I am going to start posting some pictures and including a few stories of about my trip so far. I am also going to be talking to recruiters and reviewing job listings so that when I get back, hopefully, I will have something lined up.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hey everyone. I am in Rangely Maine and will be heading over Saddleback this afternoon. We should have a few days of nice weather so everyone is pretty excited. Hope everyone is doing well and I will post pictures as soon as I can.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Welcome to Maine

Well things are good. We went through Mahousuc Notch, the toughest mile on the App Trail, a few days ago. I went through late in the day and ended up camping just past the north end. A notch is kind of like a valley, but in this case it was basically just a valley between two cliffs. Instead of one trail, you basically just figure out your own way through the notch climbing up and over boulders and crawling underneath them.

The next day was an incredible long day, we had to climb out of the notch and then had a few more tough climbs before the day was over. We hiked into Andover, Maine yesterday which was nice, but I did get caught in a pretty bad storm for the last 4 or 5 miles. It made hitch hiking easy though because noone could believe we were actually out walking through the storm during a tornado warning.

We slackpacked today and as long as the weather is ok, we are hiking out tomorrow. I have about 240 miles before reaching the end of my journey.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Almost in Maine

Well I am in Gorham NH just about 30 miles or so from Maine. I can only post when in town and there is a long wait for computer time at the libraries and the computers are pretty slow so it is hard to post much. I am planning to summit on Sept 9th.. 09/09/09. I will be able to keep adding more pictures and information after my trip as well.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We are in Lincoln N.H. We are going to make sure we have a nice day to go over Franconia Ridge. It is 25 miles of ridge walking. Most of the ridge is above the treeline.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunrise from the firetower

Moosilauke Mtn.

So let me tell you about the last couple of days. We ran into a few southbounders that told us about a commune that was having a dance fesitval this week. It was basically a group of free spirited individuals that got together once a year for a week of dancing and eating. While the dancing did not appeal to me, the eating did. We spent the night there and headed out yesterday day morning after breakfast with 8 miles before Glencliff. Glencliff is the town just before the largest climb we have had since TN/NC with a summit of 4810 feet. The climb was great and did not seem as bad as I had imagined. The descent is known as one of the more difficult ones with signs along the way stating "this trail can be treacherous when wet or icy". At the shelter Sota received a message from one of our friends saying that her parents were in town and they invited us to dinner. We were 1.6 miles from the road and Sota says tells them we will be there in 30 minutes. When he got off the phone I asked him if he remembered the sign about treacherous and slippery?? We took off on a ridiculous descent that ran along a waterfall most of the way. The rocks were slick, there were rebar and wooden steps rebared into the rock in places to help with the decent but it was still pretty crazy (especially when you are trying to rush). Long story short, we did make it, had a great meal, and ended up doing about 18 miles ending with one of the hardest climbs and descents on the trail. I felt great the entire way which really lets me know what kind of shape I am in right now.. well all of us for that matter.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Moosilauke Mtn. This is one of the toughest climbs and decents on the trail. More info later.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A slight change in plans today. We heard about a commune that feeds hikers if they wash dishes and do some other chores. Four of us stopped by and it turns out this is there festival week. It is basically a group of free spirited individuals that concentrate on dance and the way music makes them feel. After dinner they had some circle dances with instructions, etc. I was up early for sunrise so I am already in the hammock. I will post some sunrise pics of the sunrise when I am at a computer.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My hammock is attached to the base of the fire tower. There is a full moon tonight and the view is incredible. I plan to wake and watch the sunrise in the a.m. Other than getting stung by yellow jackets the last two days, N.H. has been great. They say it is the most challenging state but that it is also very rewarding. We had some good climbs tomorrow but Saturday should be the most challenging climb yet. I think I am going to leave the group and do a few extra miles tomorrow so I will be closer to the base Saturday Morning. The White Mountains are very steep and with many of the ridges above the tree line, you have to be prepared for any weather condition. It has snowed on some of the mts in July and Aug. There is a great swimming hole tomorrow so it should be a long day. I am turning in for the night.

View from the ledges

This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.

Heading to firewardens cabin today. Should be sunny today.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

View from Moose Mtn. In the rain again today.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dartmouth College and Appalachian Trail in Hanover, New Hampshire

It was nice to have the Appalachian Trail visit a college town.  Dartmouth College, a private liberal arts college established in 1969, is located in Hanover, New Hampshire.    As we crossed the bridge heading into town we were welcomed by a former hiker offering sandwiches, watermelon slices, and sodas for us.  After a quick meal we walked down to where the Dartmouth rowing team has a dock installed and went for a quick swim.  Afterwards, most of us hung out the rest of the day at the drill field on campus just relaxing and resting up for the upcoming White Mountains.   The Dartmouth Outdoor Club maintains a large section of the Appalachian Trail and are known for doing an outstanding job.

Monday, August 3, 2009

As soon as I crossed the river into NH leatherfoot was there to welcome all of us with watermelon, subs, cokes, cookies, etc.

This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The mud is horible here. I am in my hammock and the rain is beating down. I am assuming we will get another couple of inches of rain tonight. I broke one of my trekking poles this week sliding down a section of the trail in the mud. I am with a great group of people right now and they are wanting to end the hike on 09/09/09. Everyone says you end on average 30 days from Hanover which is where I will be tomorrow. I could finish earlier but I have plenty of time to decide.

A nice view this afternoon just prior to the rain. We will be entering N.H. tomorrow.

This was just prior to the farm store where I ate 1/4 a watermelon, a small blueberry pie, and a pint of ice cream.

There are very few lookouts in this area. This spot is actually a ladder and platform on top of an old cabin. We passed it early this morning.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lunch on Kent Pond.

This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.

Kent Pond