Monday, May 18, 2009

Pictures by Popular Demand

ThomasLB asked for pictures of my recent AT experience. Here's a few.

To the left is me, from my hike two weeks ago. I've been working out since January, so I'm a little more brawny than usual. The poles are typically used by AT hikers, since they help to keep one from falling off the mountains, a problem that presents itself on many occasions.

To the right is a view from halfway up Mt. Greylock, which has an elevation change of 2,800 vertical feet - think 280 stories up and 280 stories down. It was drizzling when I took this photo, and the drizzle changed to a driving rain and dense fog by the time I reached the summit. The wind was also intense, but - luckily - no lightning!

This handsome young man uses the "trail name" of Taj Mahal. We all have trail names - mine has been "X-Man" for ten years. I met Taj in a shelter at the top of Mt. Greylock, where both of us were taking a break from the rain and 60 mph winds. He'd been hiking for a few weeks, thru PA, NJ, NY, CN, and now MA. We spent a cordial hour together, part of it spent trying, unsuccessfully, to build a fire in the fireplace. Taj is an unemployed computer jockey from New York City who figured a jaunt on the AT was a good way to kill time until the economy recovers.

Here's a nice little strean with convenient stones on which to cross it. The white mark on the tree is called a "blaze", which shows AT hikers where the trail goes. Often, without blazes one would be totally lost in minutes. Not a good thing.

I love the Appalachian Trail. It's beautiful, varied, difficult, quiet, and very long. Having now hiked 1,462 miles of it, I only have 716 to go. Almost there! I'll knock off another 139 miles in June, I hope. Anybody want to come along?

1 comment:

ThomasLB said...

The view from Mt. Greylock is awesome! I can see why people want to hike it.

I'm afraid that, even with the blazes, I'd become lost very quickly. I have a famously bad sense of direction. My trail name would be "LA," for "Lost Again."