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Lordwilliam - Appalachian Trail Journal - 2015

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Bill "lordwilliam" Tice
City: Monument
State: Colorado
Country: USA
Begins: Mar 15, 2015
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Jun 10th, 2014

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 255
Journal Visits: 1,209
Guestbook Views: 124
Guestbook Entrys: 0

Appalachian Trail Map

My training so far.

Why?
Why do I want to hike the AT? Well first of all, I know it is there. I decided to do the AT because I lived by part of the trail in NJ and always was intrigued by the mystique. My motivation now is since I started walking a year ago to lose weight. I was at 240 and now around 200. Still want to lose about 15 more. I have walked around 3,172,13 steps so far. Admittedly I have not been completely dedicated to daily walking. I also want to do it in memory of my beautiful wife who was so active and full of life until MS took it away. She was a singer, actor, dancer, personal trainer and professional body builder. She set me on the path of fitness and healthy lifestyle. Just a week before she passed away, and was barely able to breathe on her own, she was giving the doctors and nurses workout assignments. Even with the MS she never gave up. I also get bored walking the same neighborhood route day after day or around the mall. One of my Bucket list items is to climb Kilimanjaro, so I need to get in shape.

Training Day 1:
My Horoscope for May 16, 2014; Libra 9/23-10/22
Exploration suits you just fine today -- so get out there and take in new sights and sounds! You are likely to discover the next big thing, or at least your next new obsession.
Today I decided to walk to the grocery store. The nearest one to my house, it is only 7.5 miles each way. After all I have been walking an average of about 4 miles a day for the last year and I am in decent shape. I put on what I thought were my best walking shoes and set out. Start time 1:45 PM. Starting temp 69 degrees. I just got back home 7:35 PM. Present temp 45 degrees. OK it is Colorado. Along the way I encountered 5 deep snow drifts across the trail, ankle deep mud in a couple of spots and some really cute Alpacas that walked along their field beside me. When I got to the store I bought some lunch and considered calling my neighbor to come pick me up. Then I thought about the commitment required to hike 2100 miles and the commitment I made today to walk to the store and back. I set out for home at 4:10 PM. I should mention that the trail/road to the store is downhill most of the way which means the trail home is mostly up hill. Not a bad day all in all. No blisters, bites, scrapes or cuts and not broken bones. Time now for Epsom Salts and the whirlpool bath then some dinner, Aleve and bed.

Training Day 2 Monday May 19:

Second training day hike. Beautiful day, temp 80. No snow drifts on the trail today. Carried a small day pack about 10 pounds. Distance today 29256 steps about 13.8 miles. I Wore better shoes today. Old good shoes are better than new bad shoes. Walked to the regional open space park. Soaked my feet in the pond, ate my lunch and walked home. Today I felt much better while walking. I also used trekking poles which seem to help, especially on steep trails. My emotional self is so excited to be trail ready. It just wants to get a pack and load it up and go. My rational self knows that you cant just pick up a 35 pound pack and walk 15 miles without any preparation.
For now I think a long hike every 4 days is a good training routine for now. I will increase the weight of the pack a little each time. I will still walk my regular daily 10560 steps (5 miles) on the in-between days.

Training Day 3 Wednesday May 21:

Today a former AT survivor advised me that part of my training for the AT should be to experience as much adversity as possible. Walk every day just like the Postman, through rain, and sleet and dark of night. I started my walk about 2:15 pm. I stopped to chat with a neighbor who said to keep a eye on the sky, because there were some huge thunderheads forming. I told him I would and that I had my rain gear with me. I did watch the sky as it got darker and darker. About 2 miles from home on my return it started to sprinkle a little rain so I put on my rain pants and jacket. Then the sun came back out and I didnt want to stop to take the rain gear off. I was about mile from home when it really started to rain and hail. As Gollum would say, them big ones smarts when thy hits my prettys heads.
I also had some walking buddies again today. A herd of cattle followed me for about a mile. They were funny. They were all around a water hole in the middle of a field. When they saw me walking along the road, they all ran over to the fence and watched a little while and then started walking along with me. One little female just walked beside me at my pace the rest would run ahead and wait for me to catch up.


Training Day 4 Friday May 23:

Today I did 11.75 miles in 4 hours 45 minutes and carried about 15 pounds. The sky was dark and it was a little windy. Rain threatened the whole time but did not develop until about 8:30 and it is still raining at 10:30. I was looking forward to watching the meteor shower tonight but I will have to settle for a rain shower instead. Nothing eventful happened on todays hike. I did talk to a nice couple in Fox Run Park who thought doing the AT sounded amazing. I also met a guy yesterday who hiked Georgia to New Hampshire when he graduated from High School. He said it was an amazing experience. He has traveled all over the world and hiked in some amazing sounding places such as Greece, Argentina, Peru and Italy. He shared a trail tip for starting a fire in the rain. He carried a small film can stuffed with cotton balls soaked in camphor and some waterproof matches. He said it saved the day several times on the trail.

I should have started hiking sooner.

Training Day 5 thru 12 May 28 June 4

Went out on a car camping trip just to be away from the house and in nature. Camped on the Cache La Pouder River. River was running very high. A woman fell out of a raft the day I arrived. She later died. While I was camping the river came up 3 feet. I heard they have now closed the area because of the high water.

I did a few day hikes with a pack. Mostly just camping outside.

Training Day 13 June 6

Took a 5 mile hike today. The sky was rumbling and quite a bit of lightning. I got into a little hail and some rain, but it wasnt enough to stop or be uncomfortable. 5 miles is getting much easier.

Training Day 14 June 8

Today was a good day for a walk. Starting temp 57 at 11:30 am. Walked 35000+ steps which is about 16 miles. Ending temp 42 at 6:13pm. Walked to the grocery store again. This is getting to be a regular thing. When I was about a mile from the store a very kind lady stopped her car and ask if I wanted a ride. I told her I was training for the Appalachian Trail and needed to train in adverse weather. Oh, by the way it was driving rain and there were 3 tornado warnings while I was walking, that is before my phone died. The only real uncomfortable thing was the cold rain making my kneecaps feel like they were going to break apart from my legs and fall off. I warmed up at the store and all is well. I was carrying a rainproof jacket and a fleece liner, so my upper body was warm and dry. Note to self: Self, remember to take the solar battery charger when you go on a long hike. I am feeling much better after this trip to the store than the first one. I guess I am getting used to walking.
When you are walking there is a real opportunity to observe the world around you. I have driven the same basic route to the store and back maybe 100s of times over the last 10 years. I never noticed all the different smells along the route before. Yes, I smelled the Diesel smoke and exhaust of the cars ahead of me and the occasional cigarette or cigar smoker in the car ahead. But, I never noticed the smell of all the different plants and trees along the way, especially after a driving rain. I even could smell peoples fabric softener wafting from their drier vents as I walked through the neighborhoods and the different cooking smells. I am disappointed that I dont see any wildlife on my walks.

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AT Class Of 2015

"A journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step>" Lao Tzu

 

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