Happiness and contentment in life come from the merging of Opportunity and Talent. My Dad had Talent but no Opportunity so could not find a way to learn to play the Violin. I had Opportunity but no Talent -- I lack the physical ability to complete a Thru Hike of the Appalachian Trail. I failed to learn this lesson even after numerous section hikes, but in the Spring of 2013, after 41.6 miles hiking in MD and PA, I learned the lesson that Dad had in mind when he told me to "hike the Trail." This Blog is now about the Merging of Opportunity and Talent more than it is about hiking the Appalachian Trail, but I still plan to include snippets of the Trail in the Blog. It's about Chasing the Trail of Life. I hope you enjoy my posts.

COMPUTER TRESPASS---RCW 9A.52.110---Computer trespass in the first degree.

(1) A person is guilty of computer trespass in the first degree if the person, without authorization, intentionally gains access to a computer system or electronic database of another; and (a) The access is made with the intent to commit another crime; or (b) The violation involves a computer or database maintained by a government agency.

(2) Computer trespass in the first degree is a class C felony.

This Blog is Dedicated to my Dad. Although he never accomplished his dream of learning to play the Violin, he did construct and play a Dulcimer at an Elderhostel.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Working on my Hike Schedule

I have been engaged in working on my schedule for hiking as well as purchasing the final pieces of gear for my hike. In doing my research,

I located a few websites that I want to share:
Planning for an Appalachian Trail Thru Hike by Ramkitten.
Rainmaker's Appalachian Trail ThruHiking Page.
AT TrailQuest.
AT Resupply Info by Baltimore Jack.
Appalachian Trail Distance Calculator.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

First Shake Down Hike with Pack

Today I went on a "Shake Down" Hike. I filled my pack with most of the items I'd be taking with me for a three night hike. I had a liter of water and food in the pack. The only items missing were my medications and vitamins. I had about 18 pounds total. I'd like to reduce that to 16 pounds, so I'll be looking at each item I'm taking and trying to determine if I can reduce the weight.

We hiked nearly three miles at Panther Creek State Park. Then we drove over to Gatlinburg and hiked the Gatlinburg Trail from the Sugarlands Parking lot into town, a two mile trail, plus an additional mile in the city.

We went shopping at NOC Outfitter in Gatlinburg and then ended up at BassPro in Kodak/Sevierville.

My pack worked great.

I found a pair of La Sportiva Mountain Running "Wildcat" hiking shoes at NOC. Then I found a Black Diamond Spot headlamp on sale.

Now to 'lighten' the rest of my load. With a trip to REI tomorrow and more hiking.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Getting Ready for a Pre-Hike

Preparations to hike have included trips to Bluff Mountain Outfitters, REI and BassPro.

I bought Sea to Summit silnylon waterproof stuff sacks, a long sleeve shirt, a short sleeve shirt and a pair of 'toe socks' ... and tried on shoes. My wide feet and high arches make shoe buying difficult.

I'm afraid I'll end up going to my podiatrist to get fitted for the first pair of shoes that actually fit. Hopefully I can find the additional pairs I'm sure to need online.

I'll be doing some 'pre-hike' hikes this week with a full pack. Hope the weather holds out.

After the hike, I'll report on how everything went.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Ferryman of Caratunk, Maine

Steve Longley, known to the Appalachian Trail community as "The Ferryman" died peacefully in his sleep on March 2, 2013 at his home in Solon, Maine. He would have been 56 on June 22. From 1987 to 2007, Longley operated the Appalachian Trail Conference's Kennebec River Ferry Service where the trail crosses the Kennebec River in Caratunk.

Down East Magazine wrote an article about Steve in 2001. His SunJournal [Maine] Obituary is here.

 Rest In Peace, Steve Longley, thank your for your service to the Appalachian Trail community.


Boots, Shoes, Sandals, Five Fingers and Socks

Boots for a hike on the Appalachian Trail are no longer considered the norm. A few hikers still wear them. Most of them carry thirty-five or more pounds on their backs and need the support of a full leather or leather and fabric boot that covers the ankle.

Hiking shoes and Trail runners are the usual footwear for hikers today. Most hikers are 'lightweight' [under 35 pounds] or 'ultralightweight' [under 20 pounds] including food and water. Both of these style hikers can wear low hiking shoes or trail runners. One advantage is that should a hiker make a missed step, it's easy to catch one's balance with a shoe that pivots at the ankle than with one that forces the leg to follow through with the missed step. Most Trail runners don't have very thick cushioning. Many hikers use Superfeet to add stiffness to Hiking shoes and Trail runners.

Another choice today, especially in the summer time, is sandals. Some have thick vibram soles and good arch support.

And finally, there are Vibram's Five Fingers. Some have a 'thick' hiking tread. I'm taking my KSO's as camp and water shoes.

Sock choices are off the charts. Most Thru Hikers find a brand or style and stick with them for years. Finding the 'right' sock can take years and many attempts, however. I like the REI Merino Wool Mini Crew Light Hiking Socks but I also have tried the Injinji toe socks. The Injinji make good liner socks and work well with Sandals. REI makes a good silk liner sock, too.