Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself…..

Setting the Stage

Thank you to the Rolling Stones for the intro lines from ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ to start, or restart, my blogging career! (More about the restart later.) 

My name is Andre, though I will go by the trail name, Lucky, on the Appalachian Trail. I’m 60 years old, about to retire from a career in education and consulting, among other things, and am ready to start the next part of my life. I’m originally from Rhode Island and currently reside in Massachusetts. I’ve been married for 41 years (yes the math says I started early) and have two adult children. 

2018-19 Photos - BSA Troop 279  Spirit of Adventure Welcome Event

Heaven on Earth to a city kid from Pawtucket, RI (photos courtesy BSA TRoop 179) 

My backpacking career began when I was 10! I joined my local Boy Scout troop just in time to complete a 50-mile hike from the northern part of Rhode Island to a magical place (at least from my youth) called Camp Yawgoog. The hike was 5 days of 10ish miles per day – not bad for a bunch of unprepared kids and adults. Two adults actually carried #10 cans of baked beans (7.5 LBs each!)! The trip ended at Camp Yawgoog where we then spent the next week having a blast at summer camp. To say I was hooked on adventuring is an understatement. 

I continued to adventure throughout my early years and teens – weekend backpacking trips, week-long bicycle trips to New Hampshire and Cape Cod, road trips once we got cars, and pretty much anything else we could think of, plan, fund, and get away with. 

At the age of 25, I’m on the top of Cannon Mountain in the White Mountains with my wife, our oldest son who is 6 months old, and my in-laws after taking the gondola up to the top for a day of taking in the sights. Somewhere along the way, we saw a weathered, wooden sign listing the distance to the Appalachian Tail. I saw that sign and remembered all the adventuring I grew up on before becoming an ‘adult’ got in the way. (If you have read or seen ‘A Walk in the Woods’ this was my Bill Bryson moment when he sees a similar sign that inspires him.) 


The northern terminus of the Long Trail, 272 miles, 28 days, We did it!

Here is where my wife Laura becomes a hero in the story. After talking about wanting to get back to hiking and things outdoors, the next, and my first Father’s Day, she gave me a pair of hiking boots with the promise that hiking, and adventuring, with kids can be just as fun. Long story short, that first pair of hiking boots eventually led to our family, now with a second son, becoming a family of adventurers. In the next 20 or so years, we hiked the AT from Delaware Water Gap to New Hampshire (some sections multiple times), thru-hiked the Long Trail (our kids were impressive 10 and 13-year-olds at the time!), completed the C&O canal bike trail, completed a 200-mile bike trip on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, and so much more. Fun fact – we’re pretty sure we are the father and two young sons that David Miller talks about meeting at a shelter on the AT in New Jersey in 2003 in his book Awol on the Appalachian Trail.  

Winter backpacking trip, Assateague Island, MD/VA200-mile OuterBanks Loop Ride: Kitty Hawk, Ocracoke ferry, Kitty Hawk

When we turned 50 and our kids were on their own and out of the house, Laura and I sold our home, quit our jobs, and traveled the country in a camper van for more than three years. We lived and volunteered in national parks, traveled in the lower 48 states, drove the Pacific Coast from Cape Flattery (the northwest point in Washington) to San Diego, visited and stayed with friends and family numerous times, and everything in between. (It was during these van years that Laura and I first tried our hand at blogging. If you’re interested, here is a link.) When we were ready for a pause, in 2015, we went back to work, living in Florida for a few years before returning to our homeland – New England! Nine years later I will be retiring in June 2024 – what better way to resume an adventuring lifestyle than hike the Appalachian Trail! 

Long Trail, northern Vermont, 2013

Next up, Why Hike the AT!

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 2

  • Laura Audette : Apr 23rd

    Looking forward to sharing one more adventure with you – this one vicariously….

  • Alane : May 1st

    Was coming to ask what Laura will be doing….I see it is adventuring vicariously. I think I’ll join you!


What Do You Think?