Appalachian Trail Jindo

A 2,200 mile hike with my dog Nara.

Goodbye New Jersey

Aug 09, 2013

That felt quick.

896.3 miles hiked, 1,289.6 miles to go.

Lots of Bears

Aug 09, 2013

We've seen a bear almost every morning here in New Jersey. Unfortunately, they usually hear or see me and Nara first and go flying over the hills before I can take a clear photo. Hope to get one good pic before the end of our journey.

Our first bear sighting was the most exciting. It was in Massachusetts near a road crossing. We saw a mama bear with her cubs.

I was about 20 yards in front of Nara, so I saw them first. I immediately put her on leash. Nara started growling, but I think she knew better than to charge.

Mama bear looked up at Nara and didn't seem too concerned. I was a little nervous when I saw her head pop up and stare at us. I tried to take a picture but was steadily moving down the trail, so not to provoke her.

Views from New Jersey trail

Aug 09, 2013

It's getting noticeably flatter.

Celebrity Sighting

Aug 07, 2013

Well, he's a celebrity in the AT community. I met David "Awol" Miller as I arrived at the High Point State Park office. A couple north-bounders had tipped me off that the office gives thru-hikers a free soda. As I was walking in, Awol pulls in to the driveway. He was stopping by to get updates for the next edition of his guide book.

Awol is the author of "Awol on the Appalachian Trail" and "The AT Guide." The first book is the story of how he left his job in 2003 to thru-hike the AT. The AT guide is the "must-have" guide book, which includes landmarks, mileages, elevation profiles, maps of towns, and other essential information. I was inspired by his thru-hike book and use the guide book daily.

We talked about how my hike was going, and how useful I was finding his guide. It was a great experience and he even offered me trail magic (coke and a brownie). I'm glad I woke up early that morning. Otherwise I would have missed him.

2003 thru-hiker and author

Thru-hikers get a free soda at this park office

Here's one of many insightful passages from his book:

Working a nine-to-five job took more energy than I had expected, leaving less time to pursue diverse interests. I grew to detest the statement “I am a…” with the sentence completed by an occupational title. Self-help books emphasize “defining priorities” and “staying focused,” euphemisms for specialization and stifling spontaneity. Our vision becomes so narrow that risk is trying a new brand of cereal, and adventure is watching a new sitcom. Over time I have elevated my opinion of nonconformity nearly to the level of an obligation. We should have a bias toward doing activities that we don’t normally do to keep loose the moorings of society.

Private Charity

Aug 07, 2013

I read in my guide book that there was a private cabin 0.2 miles off the trail that is open to long distance hikers, so we decided to check it out.

It was a great spot with an open meadow. I set up the tent without the rainfly, so we could fall asleep watching the stars.

Just me and Nara in for the night

Deer hanging around