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The Appalachian Trail

I'm not quite sure when I first heard of the Appalachian Trail, but it wasn't long afterwards that I decided I wanted to hike it sometime. What could be more of an adventure then hiking a 2160 mile trail that winds along the mountains from Georgia to Maine? At the time I was busy with other things in my life that were much more important to me; an education, a family, kids. There is always something in your life that can't be put down. So my friend Debbie Bodmer and I decided that we would hike it when we turn fifty. Fifty seemed like a good number. Our kids would mostly be grown. Our bodies might still be up to the challenge. We would have enough money to do it without worry of running out. And it would give our husbands plenty of time to get used to the idea of being left at home for six months (which is about how long it takes to hike the trail).

This was supposed to be the year Joel and I would hike the trail. But life happens. I have a chronic shoulder injury that keeps me from wearing a backpack. I've had the shoulder injury for years, but it was just a couple of years ago as it was getting worse and worse, that I found out that the backpack was making it much worse. It got to the point that I was lying on the couch crying in pain on the days after I backpacked (I used to wear a back pack regularly while walking in the conservation area near our house). So the backpack is off for a while. I'm hoping it will get better. Maybe I'll get to go the year I turn 50 (2012) like I originally planned.

Well we are more than halfway to that 50 mark (from when we first decided to do it). A lot has changed since we first made our decision to hike. My husband is now contemplating coming with me, and we decided that we won't wait until 50, but do it as soon as the kids are out of school (2008 instead of 2012). I have chronic knee problems from too much orienteering. The amount of hikers sharply increased (over 2500 start every year though only about 10%-15% make it). Technology (read gear) is getting better and better. I wonder what it will be like in the year we finally leave?

For more info on the Appalachian Trail visit:

Or read some good books (all of which I own, if you're a friend feel free to come over and borrow them):

This web page (http://www.gouldhome.com/AppalachianTrail.html) was last updated on April 29, 2008. For any comments or suggestions about the site contact Daphne Gould. Contents copyright © 1999-2003 by Joel and Daphne Gould.