Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Epilogue - Nobo no mo

I want to close out this blog with some thoughts and photos about the end of my hike.

Some interesting statistics:

I hiked the entire trail in 122 days of hiking over 11 calendar months.  Many of those hiking days were half-days involving getting to or from the trail.  I hiked solo except for 1 full winter day with Jenny and Glenn, a partial (6 mile) day with very pregnant Jenny, one mile with Leslie (recovering from knee surgery), one 5 mile winter day with Ray and Kig, about 8 shorter or partial days with Helen (8-11 mile days), and the final day on Mt. Katahdin with Ray.  During most of the trail, a full day for me was somewhere between 20 and 25 miles.  My longest day was 29 miles and I probably did about 6 days over 25 miles.

I took over 5,000,000 steps in this process.

The most frequently asked question:  "Do you have a paving company?".

total elevation gain on the AT compared to PCT and CDT

Definition and other FAQs about AT Thru-Hikes:

Thru-hike definition and other FAQs

"How does the ATC define thru-hiking?
We define a thru-hike as a hike of the entire Appalachian Trail in 12 months or less."

I was very disciplined about recording every step I took on the trail on my Garmin Forerunner 910XT.  If you have looked at the individual blog entries, you will have seen that each one includes a link to the GPS points of that day's hike.  That linked page contains detailed information about the elevation profile, pace, etc.  Each of those Garmin web pages allows you to save the GPS points in a GoogleEarth format.  I have done so and can view my hike via GoogleEarth.  I will show the hike as it was put together, incrementally, month by month, in the following pictures.  Due to technical glitches, 3 days of my 122 day hike were not successfully recorded and appears as holes in the final image from September of 2015.  I did hike all of those holes :-)

October, 2014:

November,  2014:

December, 2014:

January, 2015:  [no progress]

February, 2015: [no progress]

March, 2015:

April, 2015:

May, 2015:

June, 2015:

July, 2015:

August, 2015:

September, 2015:

Or, seen from a global perspective:

I was northbound thru-hiker #748 to come through to Katahdin in 2015:

My granddaughter thought that was awesome:

Finally, thanks to all my friends and family that gave me support through this endeavor.  In particular, thanks my daughter Jenny and my sister Leslie who were probably the only close family members that supported my undertaking unconditionally and enthusiastically and for that I am forever grateful. Thanks to my best friend Ray Greenlaw who found a way of joining me on the final day on Mt. Katahdin.  And finally, deep thanks to my wife Helen who, while her enthusiasm for my thru-hike was weak at best, made the most sacrifices and provided more concrete help and support to me than anyone else, bar none.

Finally, finally - no, I am not contemplating ever doing the PCT or CDT.  I think the risks for the artificial ankle are just too great, the difficulty of keeping the farm going just too hard, and the sacrifices on family life too painful.

TARman - signing off.