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RhinoAT2020 - Appalachian Trail Journal - 2020

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City: Jefferson Township
State: PA
Country: USA
Begins: Jun 1, 2020
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, May 12th, 2020
Trip Distance: 12.7
Hours Hiked: 3.5
Daily Ascent: 1407
Min Temp: 42
Max Temp: 45
Breaks: 1
People Met: 4

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 126
Journal Visits: 941
Guestbook Views: 53
Guestbook Entrys: 13

Appalachian Trail Map

Training, Planning & Finalizing

Just got done with a 12.7 mile hike with my pack with everything I will be carrying without food. I did have 2 liters of water I was carrying which is the most I will have to carry on this trail. It was in the low to mid 40's and windy but at least sunny. Felt good and pushed hard to get my body ready. Chafing in the groin area and between the thighs might be the big issue for me early on. I need to be able to fix this pretty quickly. I just ordered some Squirrel Nut Butter balm which had some good reviews from REI. Ended up getting a durable food bag, carabiner and some cording to hang my food on the trail. I wasn't gonna get any of this stuff and not hang my food and just sleep with it like I did on the PCT in 2011. I never had an issue with rodents, I might have heard them scurrying around but never got anything eaten by them. Never even saw a bear on the PCT so lucky me I guess, which is why I was hesitant to even worry about hanging my food, which I have never done before. I'm gonna have it with me just in case. I like to hike fast and don't like to stay put for very long so that gives bears and rodents a much smaller chance of them getting at me. Plus I would rather stealth camp away from campsites where the animals know that food will most likely be. I plan on hiking till 8-9pm and putting in the miles everyday while my body lets me and when I do take zero days they are definitely gonna be in a town...hopefully.

When I'm on trail I'm there to push my body hard. For whatever reason I love doing that. If I can listen to my body and stay injury free for the first couple weeks I will be super happy. With my experience on the PCT I have the advantage of taking care of the minor things like chafing, blisters, pain and anything that will affect the body and nip it in the butt right away. I know of some people who didn't want to take the time to cure the ailments as SOON as you feel it coming on. Trust me, I hate stopping and taking off my backpack and having to find something but I know enough now to just do it immediately and take care of the issue. Since it has been so many years since I've really trained or hiked I feel like I'm starting over again, but at the same time, I feel like I could be ready to go tomorrow. It's so weird. I planned for a year and a half to do the PCT and tested gear and products, made so many adjustments and changed so many things. Now I'm like "Whatever, I'll figure it out". Because planning goes right out the window. With injury, weather, covid-19, you never know what could happen, on any given day, that something might knock you off the trail.

Speaking of Covid-19. I am aware that currently some states have closures and rules and regulations that might not let me continue on the trail when I hit certain states or national parks. I can't worry about what I can't control. When the time comes I will make a decision as it arrives. I've learned that there is so much hype and people say you can't do this or you can't do that and end up not doing something based on something they heard. For me, I'm mainly speaking of the snow in the PCT and the river crossings where people were saying the Sierras were impassable during that record snow year of 2011. I ended up being some of the first hikers to pass thru the sierras. It was hard but so thrilling. The creek crossings were insane but so exhilarating when crossed. What I'm trying to say is, I will listen to people on what they have to say but will just nod and smile and continue on my way and do what I do best. And that is mash miles!

My father-in-law bought me a dozen cloth masks that are pretty functional so I will be carrying 2 at a time and have any others shipped when I need them. I am not naive that just because I'm out hiking that there isn't a chance I couldn't contract the disease. I still plan on keeping my distance and being respectful at all times when it comes to talking and interacting with others. Since my wife has type 1 diabetes and her parents both have heart conditions we have been really serious about keeping safe and limiting our travel. So for those who read this I'm not looking to party or get crazy just because I'm able to get out finally, I'm seeing as this is the best opportunity I have while being unemployed and being able to do something I have missed for so long.

With that being said, I look forward to this journey and hoping that I can inspire my friends and family and anyone who I come in contact with yet again and I go on another crazy adventure!

Entry 2 of 14
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Journal Photo

An Unexpected Journey


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