Red Squirrel

I'm a hiker linguist nerd taking some time to do the AT before my knees get too old. I love to forage and learn the landscape wherever I am. When I'm not on the trail I work with Indigenous languages, and I'll be moving to Portland with my wife once I'm done the trail.

Posts

Over the River and Through the Woods: From Vermont to New Hampshire

Over the River and Through the Woods: From Vermont to New Hampshire

Although I’d given up on Naked Hiking Day myself thanks to the weather, I passed a whole troop of local guys who bare it all every year to mark the occasion. They claimed to be enjoying the cold breeze as they hiked around the lake, but I’m a little skeptical!

Jun 28, 2022 : Red Squirrel
Marble and Birch: Into the Green Mountains

Marble and Birch: Into the Green Mountains

In the past week, I’ve traveled north through the Berkshires and up into Vermont. The terrain is rolling higher, with 3000-foot plateaux and peaks pushing up towards 4000 for the first time since Virginia. The highlands host a landscape that belongs entirely to the north, full of beaver ponds and fir trees and papery-white birche Down in Massachusetts there were valleys of marble, packed with towns and farms and houses. Up here there’s nothing but forest and hills and streams trickling out of bogs.

Jun 20, 2022 : Red Squirrel
Hudson & Housatonic Highlights

Hudson & Housatonic Highlights

I’m now over two-thirds of the way to Katahdin! Woohoo! From here on out, I have less than half as far left to walk than I already have. The trail’s been wilder, higher, and more scenic than it has been for hundreds of miles. Massachusetts in particular feels like the gateway to new heights, a world of northern crags that’s different from anything further south.

Jun 13, 2022 : Red Squirrel
Crossing the Delaware

Crossing the Delaware

Four days ago, I crossed the Delaware River and left Pennsylvania behind. I knew this would be a big milestone, but I hadn’t realized just how different the Jersey trail would be! It’s been one of my favorite sections of the trail so far.

Jun 4, 2022 : Red Squirrel
Penn’s Woods, or, a test of strength

Penn’s Woods, or, a test of strength

I’m now two-thirds of the way through Pennsylvania, and honestly? It’s been tougher than I expected. Not because of the rocks, though that’s been part of it, but because of the distances involved. The PA section of trail is over 200 miles long, and all of it’s roughly halfway to Katahdin.

May 27, 2022 : Red Squirrel
Riding the Blue Ridge Home

Riding the Blue Ridge Home

Well, I made it! I’m in downtown Frederick, Maryland, taking a zero day right back near where I grew up. It’s hard to believe that I’ll be trekking on north through Pennsylvania in just a few days. In the past week I’ve walked 145 miles, so I can use the break!

May 16, 2022 : Red Squirrel
Day 54: Adjusting to a Middle State

Day 54: Adjusting to a Middle State

Things have felt different since the third-way point in Daleville. The mountains are lower and rounder, the trees are greener, the trail feels less buried in the mountain fastnesses of the South. I may not have crossed a state line, but for the first time I find myself truly in a middle state.

May 6, 2022 : Red Squirrel
Day 47: Continental Divides

Day 47: Continental Divides

Of course there’s only one Eastern Divide. But the trail crosses over this divide three times between Peters Mountain and the Triple Crown. And this triple crossing is not just a technicality — you go from the bottom of the valley to the top of a ridge each time.

Apr 29, 2022 : Red Squirrel
The Mysteries of Virginia

The Mysteries of Virginia

Southern Virginia’s a mystery to me. I have a pretty good understanding of where the Appalachian Trail travels as it snakes its way up towards Maine. But from Damascus to Roanoke, it takes a sudden detour into the heart of the Southern ridges, an area I knew nothing about before I came. It felt like a magical place at the ends of the earth, and honestly, it still does.

Apr 25, 2022 : Red Squirrel
Snow on Roan Mountain

Snow on Roan Mountain

With no trees to block it, the wind roared across the open mountainside, pelting my face with heavy snow as it piled up drifts. The muddy ruts in the trail, which had merely been inconvenient the day before, now became hidden trenches of foot-deep snow.

Apr 14, 2022 : Red Squirrel