Maine to Georgia - Complete

May 3, 2009

Done! We hiked the final link in my complete section hike, ending at Devil Fork Gap on the state line between Tennessee and North Carolina.

It was a rainy day, but we felt lucky to hike for the first couple of hours in only fog. Then, when we were well committed to the route, light rain set in, perfect for umbrellas. The last section was 8.5 miles, including the usual southern Appalachian ups and downs, and ending in a cow pasture, one of my favorite features of the Trail.

If you've been following the adventure, you may remember that I climbed both Springer and Katahdin in the fog, so am quite used to not seeing the long view. Again today, we focused on the near at hand, old orchards with apple trees in bloom, trilliums everywhere, a small waterfall near the end of the day.

It's been a wonderful 12 years, and thank you to all the loyal supporters who have read and commented along the way.
Thanks to those who have driven (Augusta especially), dried me out during hurricanes (Michael and Susan) and those who have accompanied:

Phoebe for parts of the Shenandoah, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, this final section, and for believing.
Ginny and Martha for three very long sections in New Hampshire and Vermont.
Abby for Glastonbury Mountain, Vermont.
Louisa and Li Zhuang for some of the bogs of Maine.
Mabel for some Pennsylvania miles.
Oscar and Chloe for canine companionship.

Bald and Not So

May 2, 2009

For several days, my most faithful AT supporters and companions have been sharing the experience. Phoebe joined me in Johnson City, and with a second car we've been able to car-spot and make double progress!
At the top of Beauty Spot Bald (above) Phoebe and I enjoyed views of the Unaka and Bald Mountain ranges on a gorgeous day. Several through hikers were lingering up there, so we asked one to be our photographer.

Some mountaintops are not so picturesque - here's Unaka, flat on top, a forest of red spruce (reminding us of New England) but not much to indicate the actual top.
In case we'd been overcome by amnesia, here's a marker to let us know we're on the AT. Miraculously, a through-hiker came by just in time to snap a photo.

Today, we hiked in fog and rain from Big Bald (where we could see that it was a bald but not much more) to Sam's Gap, where I-26 has cut a drastic gash through the landscape. Here we are crossing an old farmstead meadow near Street Gap.

We've rented a house at the Wolf Laurel resort development, so we are living in luxury for these last few days of the hike. Stay tuned for the finale!