And Now We Wait


Larry and I have no special reason for attempting an Appalachian Trail thru-hike. We just decided we’d give it a try because we can and want to. We’re considered “mature” hikers, imagine that. There’ll be quite a few of us on the trails. “Mature” hikers can be seen participating as day hikers, section hikers, extended trip, week or weekenders or thru-hikers.

Larry

Larry

A thru-hiker is someone who hikes the entire Appalachian Trail all 2,189.1 miles of it within a one year period. A thru-hiker can choose from several options to accomplish this goal. Hikers may start from the southern terminus at Springer Mountain Georgia and hike to the northern terminus at Mt Katahdin Maine or vice versa.

Another option, the one we’ve chosen, is called a Flip/Flop where we’ll start at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia (the middle) hike north to Katahdin Maine. We’ll then go back to Harpers Ferry (by other means of transportation than hiking) and hike south to Springer Mountain Georgia.

The Appalachian Trail Concervancy flyer

The Appalachian Trail Concervancy flyer

 

Brenda

Brenda

Our “mature” classification represents a smaller percentage of thru-hikers and an even smaller percentage of those who complete a thru-hike. Yet, it can and has been done by both men and women of ages that pass us by a decade or two.

This will be my last post until Larry and I are actually on the trail. We have our gear. We’ve gotten ourselves into shape as well as we can. We have our plans in place and are ready to go. I just need to make sure my equipment for posting my blog works on its own. No outside computer or iPad to bail me out.

I hope you’ll keep up with our journey attempt and cheer us on! I’ll do my best to make it interesting, just don’t expect anything like “Wild”.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 29

  • Avatar
    Jeanne : Feb 9th

    Best of luck to both of you! We look forward to reading about your adventure and wish we were out there too!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brenda Whaley : Feb 9th

      Thank you Jeanne! I wish you were too! It’s getting real!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Debra : Feb 9th

    I will be following you all the way. I am the same age as you and have been married 41 years in August. I have wanted to hike the AT but hubby, not so much hoping to at least get some time on the AT in this summer and convince him to give it a go! Best of luck will be waiting to read all about it
    Debra

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brenda Whaley : Feb 10th

      Hi Debra,
      Thank you! Our actual departure date will be April 17th after the Flip/Flop Kick off in Harpers Ferry. Glad to have the follow!!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Hailey : Feb 9th

    What a wonderful adventure! Hiking the AT is a much more interesting way to spend retirement than what most people do. I am also doing a flip flop from Harper’s Ferry beginning May 1st. Hope to see you and your husband out there!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brenda Whaley : Feb 10th

      Hi Hailey, That’s great maybe we will meet! We’re actually leaving from Harpers Ferry after the Flip/Flop kick off on April 17th. Hike on!!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    George Turner : Feb 10th

    We may very well run into each other. I’m starting at Marion, Va. hiking North to Katahdin, then back to Marion to head south to Springer. I will be turning 65 eight days into my trip.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brenda Whaley : Feb 10th

      Hi George,
      I hope we do! Larry and I are leaving April 17th after the Harpers Ferry Flip/Flop Kick off. We’re just as old as we think we are!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Ginger : Feb 10th

    You are an inspiration! I would love to follow your blog. Where will I be able to find it?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brenda Whaley : Feb 10th

      Hi Ginger,
      Thank you for the kind words! I would love for you to follow. There should be a box at the end of my update story that you can sign up to have my posts delivered to your inbox. Also try tapping my picture with my dog and it should also take you to the author archives where you can have my posts sent to your inbox. Hope to hear from you again along our journey!

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Ginger : Feb 11th

        Thank you! Safe and happy travels.

        Reply
  • Avatar
    Karen : Feb 10th

    I had never heard of the “flip/flop” until your article. This sounds like a great plan and, perhaps, the one I will try in 2017 to accomplish. I want to wish the best to you two for a safe and successful hike!!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brenda Whaley : Feb 10th

      Karen,
      Yes, the Flip/Flop is being promoted by the ATC to help spread out the traffic along the trail, hopefully lessening the impact on trail resources. You can find out more @ http://www.appalachiantrailconservancy.org
      Thank you for the well wishes and I look forward to hearing about your journey also.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Kim : Feb 10th

    This is Awesome! My husband and I are awaiting the day our kids are grown to hit the trail, don’t want to wish time away, but we can’t wait! And I love your photo on the bike with your dog! Happy trails!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brenda Whaley : Feb 10th

      Hi Kim,
      I know exactly what you mean! Rudy, my dog is going to stay with his human sister while we’re away. Thank you for your encouragement!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Chief : Feb 11th

    I plan on hiking this year starting at Springer. Mostly, I have been figuring on starting at Springer for the social experience as well as the hike itself. I am 62 years young and how far and how long I hike is yet to be determined. If I am still hiking south of Harper’s Ferry when you and Larry start south we may chat when passing. Good luck to you both on your adventure.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brenda Whaley : Feb 11th

      Hey Chief,
      That’d be great! We plan on hiking from can to can’t. Going to go at our pace or rather my pace (slower). You go for it! Hike on!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Kim Starr : Feb 11th

    Hey, I might get to meet you both!! I’m 60 with 6 grown children and 12 grandchildren! I’m walking by myself as a thru hiker leaving from Springer Mountain on April 9 th!! By myself!! My name is Akita!! Hope to meet you both!! Best wishes and happy trail days!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brenda Whaley : Feb 11th

      Hey Kim,
      You hike it!! Sounds like you’re ready to go! It’d be fantastic to meet on the trail. Happy Hiking and best wishes to you too!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Deborah Pottkotter : Feb 12th

    So excited to follow you on your journey..Love hiking and would love to hike the AT….

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brenda Whaley : Feb 13th

      Hi Deborah,
      Me too! We’d love for you to follow.
      Thanks!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Kay Tschirhart : Feb 21st

    Hi, Brenda. So excited to read your post about your upcoming trek. My husband and I fall in the “more mature” hikers group too and have just started planning a thru-hike for next year. We thought about starting Springer to Harpers Ferry and flip-flopping up to Katahdin and then down, but I like your plan and may consider changing. Good luck on final plans and preparations! Look forward to following your future posts!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brenda Whaley : Feb 25th

      Hi Kay,
      The Flip/Flop kick off at Harpers Ferry is a good place to start! Lots of information to be had by all. This plan will allow us to not be worried about a time frame and enjoy our journey. Glad to have you following! Best of luck with your plans. Happy hiking!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Natalie : Mar 19th

    Hi Brenda,
    I’ll be following you this summer! I am considering doing this flip flop hike with my twin teenage girls next year.
    Good luck!!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brenda Whaley : Mar 19th

      Hi Natalie,
      Glad to have you follow. Thank you for the good wishes! Sounds like you have the beginning of a plan. Good luck to you also!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Denny : Apr 2nd

    Best of luck to you Brenda. I’m also a “mature hiker.” I’ll be doing a “semi” flip-flop this year, starting at Harpers Ferry late July or early August and hiking South. Hope to see you out there! Enjoy the ride!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Brenda Whaley : Apr 4th

    Hi Denny,
    Thank you! Best of luck to you too! We may very well meet on the trail. We hope to be back at Harpers Ferry around that time to begin the SOBO portion of our hike.
    One step at a time. Eat, walk, sleep, repeat:)

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Kris : Apr 16th

    Hi Brenda, wishing you both a safe and happy hike. I look forward to following your adventures. I love to hike, but have never had enough time off to consider a thru hike. Have done small portions of the AT in VT and WV/MD. Have fun!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Brenda Whaley : Apr 16th

      Hi Kris,
      Thank you! Love for you to follow. I’ll have an update in the next few days. Keep on hiking you never know what the future may hold.

      Reply

What Do You Think?