This family has caught the AT bug!

For as long as I can remember, my dad has always talked about his time on the trail as being one of the best parts of his life. He met lifelong friends and had some crazy adventures. So many that my family and I are sure he could write a book. (Hint. Hint. Dad, you’re retired now! Write a book so everyone can read your stories…!) My dad has always been adventurous. Even as a kid he’d adventure around on his own and once he wound up lost on some guy’s farm that was too far away from home for a kid to be alone at his age. I definitely received his adventure gene because since I was a kid I’ve wanted to be just like him. So far I can cross off traveling the world and jumping out of an airplane off my list of awesome things my dad has done that I want to do too.

And next up is hiking the Appalachian Trail!

My dad started the trail and completed his thru-hike right after getting out of the army in 1980. That year only a little over 150 people completed the whole trail. Today the amount of people who complete a thru-hike of the AT each year is almost up to 1,000 according to the ATC. It’s crazy how popular the trail has become in 36 years!

Unfortunately this year my dad had to get off trail for a bit due to health concerns but he’ll continue his second flip-flop at the end of this month! Next year he plans on finishing whatever sections he can’t do this year so he’ll just be a long thru-hiker the second time around.

My brother also started a thru-hike this year and is probably currently somewhere near Connecticut. (His phone is always dead and he never turns on the SPOT I let him borrow so we always have to guess where he is or ask  one of his tramily members) He’s always been a bit more adventurous than me but I’m glad that this is one adventure we’ll be able to share since he’s planning on possibly re-hiking sections with me and surprising hikers with trail magic!

2017 thru-hikers, keep an eye out for Skywalker next year!

Like I said, this family has caught the AT bug!

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Comments 4

  • Linda Zimmer : Aug 20th

    Hi Kristen, I’m a friend and colleague of your mom’s. I am exited to hear about your adventure and impressed with your willingness to take on the challenge. March is just around the corner. The excitement builds!

  • Paul Boulay : Aug 21st

    Awesome hiker family. is that a banjo (or a guitar) in the center of the pic. Buddies of mine, the “banjo boys” from VA carried one between them from Katahdin to about eastern VT. I carried my 12-string guitar from Pearisburg to Hot Spings during my ’78-’79 thru-hike – wrapped in the Ensolite, then a garment bag and bungeed onto the pack, much like your pic. Happy Trails to your awesome family.

    • Kirsten : Aug 21st

      It’s my brother carrying a backpacking guitar! Now he has a small plastic ukelele because it’s much easier to carry.

  • tim messerich : Aug 29th

    Great to see you guys at RPH Cabin. Your brother must be in Mass or VT by now.Hope your Dad is OK on the trail this time.Well see you guys some time this fall.


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