AT Q & A’s!

The AT – Favorite questions from my friends

*** very SUBJECTIVE – these are my opinions and the facts are the facts! ***


How many pairs of trail runners – 7

How many days hiking (includes neros) – 123

How many zeroes – 17

Average pack weight – ( food & water) – 40 pounds,Heaviestload – Hot springs & Rattle river 45 & 43 #’s

Favorite mountains – Mt. Washington, (Presidentials & Whites), Kathadin, Wildcats & Bigelows

Favorite waterfalls – Little Niagara falls

Favorite hostel’s – Wood’s hole – Pearisbug, VA, Human Nature – Roxbury, ME. Shaws’ – Monson, ME

Most eclectic hostel – Standing Bear, TN

Favorite trail town – Hot Springs, North Carolina

State that surprised me the most – NJ, it was beautiful

Favorite state – New Hampshire

Second favorite state – Virginia

Third runner-up state– Maine (love boreal forests)

State that was harder than expected – Maine

Best maintained trail-state- Maine (included how remote it was)

Best Privy on the trail – Pennsylvania – Pine knob shelter (also nominated for best picnic table}

Best shelter/ privy state – Pennsylvania

Best Shelter – Mountaineer falls shelter, NC

Most Pleasant/ surprise shelters – Secret Shelter – NY, Bromley Mt warming hut – VT, Mt. Albert firetower- NC

Favorite plants – white lady slippers, pitcher plants, Virginia bluebells and redbuds!

Favorite experiences – getting an ovation walking into Pine Furnace by the boy scouts, reunion with friends on the trail – hadn’t seen my buddy Mark in 30 years! Hiking with and getting to know my Tramily members – priceless!!

Coldest weather – -5 in the Smokies

Rain days – 35

Hail – 5 times ( North Carolina, Vermont and Maine)

Rainiest part – 10” first 2 weeks

Snow, sleet days – 3  ( Smokies & northern Tennessee)

Warmest weather – 80 degrees – Harpers Ferry

Wildlife on the trail – Bear & Rattlesnake – Connecticut, Moose in Maine, Deer – North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and  Massachusetts. Garter & black snakes almost every state. Turkeys -North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts, Loons in Maine, Indigo bunting in New Jersey, Rufus sided towhees in Virginia & Pennsylvania, Whip or will – Virginia, Bluebird – Virginia, Mosquitoes – (well they’re the size of birds) in Maine, Pileated wood pecker – every state and most seen bird!

Best sunset – Madison hut – Whites of New Hampshire

Best Sunrise – MacAfee knob & Pierce Pond, Maine  (serenaded by loons)

Most miles hiked in a day – 32

Most miles hiked in a week – 190

Least miles hiked in a day ( Nero) – 7 miles

Most days hiked consecutively – 21 ( first 3 weeks)

Longest time hiking alone – 5 hours! Then 3 ½   ( this blew me away!)

Rolls of TP? – 1 ( no shit)

Best burger- Hot Springs, VA  – Appalachian Café – 20 oz hiker special!

Best hotdog – Station 19E – Roan, TN

Best Pizza –  Marion, NC – The pizza joint ( anytime you can eat hot pizza in a shelter ( partnership)  it’s great!)

Best Hostel Breakfast – Shaw’s – Monson,ME & Harrison’s camp – Caratunk,ME

Best Hostel dinner – Woods Hole – Pearisburg,VA

Best Dessert – The Inn at Long Trail – Killington,VT

Best Ice Cream – Bellvale Creamery – Warwick,NY

Best watering hole – Station 19E & Long Trail Inn

Favorite energy bars – Gatorade Power bar cookies & cream, Clif bar cool mint, Clif tart cherry smoothie, Luna blueberry bar.

Favorite candy bar/combo – Snickers dipped in Jif singles ( lifechanging)

How many snickers bars – 270

Favorite loose candy – Haribo sour gummy bears

Favorite trail lunch combo – homemade jerky, Jif peanut butter, string cheese, hard salami or sopressada, wraps filled with Smucker’s Goober ( peanut butter & jelly)

Favorite trail breakfast combo – 3 Carnation breakfast essentials with powdered milk and 2 cinnamon poptarts!

Go – to favorite trail meal – Idaho cheesy instant potatoes with anchovies in olive oil. Or homemade dehydrated meat instead of anchovies.

Favorite firetower – Shuckstack – NC – Smokies

Easiest hiking state – Connecticut

Hardest Hiking state – New Hampshire

Muddiest trails – VERMUD – Vermont

State my feet hated the most – Rocksylvania – Pennsylvania

Buggiest states – Maine – mosquitoes, Vermont – blackflies, Ticks in Massachusetts !

Prettiest state – (based on views) – New Hampshire, Virginia a close second!

Flattest state – Florida (that’s why it’s not part of the AT!)

What equipment would I have changed? – nothing, but I will go more ultra -lite for the PCT!

What was my heaviest item? My Food bag !

Favorite AT book? Whistler`s Walk

Favorite piece of equipment – My Osprey atmos 65 – it was so huge everyone talked about it- LOL!

Equipment I couldn’t live without – My Leki trekking poles!

Motivational music – Chris Stapleton – Traveller

Most sung trail song – Country Roads

My Favorite fellow hikers that would always pop up! – Wow, Perk, Hound and my good buddy Swede!

Hardest hikers / big milers – Hawk, T-rex, Flash, Quinlin, Baskets and Garden state *

Most inspirational hiker – Walking home (2 heart attacks and 3 stints)

Favorite You-Tuber – Frozen

Favorite Female Pom – Togs         (A Pom – is British born and resides in Australia)

Favorite Male Pom – Wow

Favorite Texan/cowboy – Lucky

Favorite southern gentleman – Murica

Favorite Hurler and fastest hiker – RD

When you say “America”, I instantly think of – Farmer  (my hero)

Best Trail Angel – all of them ! Flip Lewis and AT Gracie are my favorites though!

Trail God – Fresh Ground (also THE biggest heart)


*If RD broke away from his Tramily, he’d be in this group!


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Comments 2

  • Jan : Jul 27th

    Was wondering what your next “CHALLENGE” would be. Do you get “antsy” not being on the trail now?
    Job well done, John. You are to be congratulated.

  • Dennis A Turner : Jul 28th

    So enjoyed your writing and following you. Congratulations!! Look forward to your PCT hike. DMFINO


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