10 States Down, 4 to Go

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Just wanted to give everyone an update on my hike of the Appalachian Trail. I’ve backpacked nearly 1600 miles and completed 10 states so far:

  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Maryland
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Connecticut

I have a little over 600 miles and 4 more states to go:

  • Massachusetts
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire
  • Maine

The 1500 miles sign was about 4 miles off because of trail changes down south, like reroutes and adding switchbacks. The 700 miles sign was fairly accurate because up north they don’t believe in switchbacks. ๐Ÿ˜›

Birthday "Trail Magic"

I want to give a huge shoutout and thanks to Mark Plaquet. On my birthday, Mark picked me up from the trail and opened up his home to me. I got to shower and sleep in a real bed covered with homemade quilts that his wife personally makes. Fantastic birthday treat. (Yes, after four months on the trail, my standards are much different now where a shower and a bed are a birthday treat.)

Mark and I had never before, but he found me via my Ascending Multi-System article. Then he saw that I was hiking the Appalachian Trail, which he happens to live near, and reached out to me. I’ve never advertised or promoted my website outside of an occasional Facebook post. It’s amazing how many people find it anyway and which articles are popular. E.g., apparently I’m the only person on the internet who has written about Parks Ranch. I’m glad people are finding the articles I’ve written useful and/or entertaining. Maybe I’ll keep writing them. ๐Ÿ™‚

What Mark did is called “trail magic”. It’s when someone does something for other people hiking the trail. People who do that are called “trail angels”. It’s so wonderful to see this selfless generosity. It could be giving a hiker a lift into town. Maybe leaving water jugs or sports drinks on a long, dry stretch of trail. Some people even setup at busy trailheads and cook hot dogs, BBQ, etc., and give it out free to any hikers walking by. Such a treat.

I’m far ahead of the “hiker bubble” when the bulk of hikers are on the trail. That’s when trail angels are usually out. Even so, I’ve still received my share of trail magic. Huge thanks to all the trail angels out there.

Tiger Tail Sticks made by Harry H. Sano. At 86 years young, Harry keeps busy in his wood shop. For years, Harry has given rides to through hikers on the Appalachian Trail and is always willing to help them on their journey. The Tiger Tail Stick is a tribute to those that need a little assistance. If you find a Tiger Tail Stick and want to send thanks, Harry loves coffee and sweet treats. Venmo @Harry-Sano

Food for Thought

I’m going to leave you with this one last photo. I could not have put it any better. I am glad that we have natural resources like the Appalachian Trail.

I know this post is picture heavy. I’ll be back with a much wordier and hopefully inspirational post soon.

Populations & Pathways

Just ahead of you this trail intersects with the famous Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail runs north to south from Maine to Georgia and is used by thousands. Though it is mostly wild, the trail passes through many farms and must cross many roads. Think about the wild places you know and how many roads, towns, and houses are between. Wild places are becoming more and more like islands, and the islands keep getting smaller. For there to be lots of different plants and animals, there needs to be not only space but continuity. To stay healthy, wildlife needs its own “roads” just like we do but of wilderness. Hopefully you have enjoyed and will remember this small journey through the wild. Pay attention, as some of it is disappearing, and all living things are connected.

If you would like to help preserve wild places like the Pawling Nature Reserve, join the Nature Conservancy at www.nature.org

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