Luke W

Hey, my name is Luke, known on trail as Cool Hand. Follow along as I undertake a flip-flop thru hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2024. After years of planning and waiting, I am excited to get out on the trail. There are several ways I want to grow and things I want to learn on this trek, but I am also looking forward to embracing the unexpected lessons and experiences along the way. I am looking forward to the journey ahead and sharing it here with all of you.

Posts

Time Off in DWG and First Month Reflections: AT Flip Flop Days 32-33

Time Off in DWG and First Month Reflections: AT Flip Flop Days 32-33

I take a long rest at the end of Pennsylvania and reflect on the first month on trail.

Jun 13, 2024 : Luke W
Pennsylvania Pays Out in the End: AT Flip Flop Days 27-31

Pennsylvania Pays Out in the End: AT Flip Flop Days 27-31

The last stretch of Pennsylvania was still challenging, but we had some well-earned good times to make it all worthwhile.

Jun 11, 2024 : Luke W
Expected and Unexpected Challenges in Eastern Pennsylvania: AT Flip Flop Days 19-26

Expected and Unexpected Challenges in Eastern Pennsylvania: AT Flip Flop Days 19-26

Pennsylvania rears its ugly head and throws me some expected challenges, and some I hadn't expected.

Jun 6, 2024 : Luke W
Crossing Cumberland Valley in Central PA: AT Flip Flop Days 15-18

Crossing Cumberland Valley in Central PA: AT Flip Flop Days 15-18

I hike two of my biggest days yet to get across Cumberland Valley and then take it easy in Duncannon, PA.

May 30, 2024 : Luke W
Finding People in Southern PA: AT Flip Flop Days 11-14

Finding People in Southern PA: AT Flip Flop Days 11-14

After hiking alone through Maryland, I start to meet and make friends with several other hikers as I enter the Keystone State.

May 26, 2024 : Luke W
Take Me Home Country Roads, West Virginia and Maryland: AT Flip Flop Days 5-10

Take Me Home Country Roads, West Virginia and Maryland: AT Flip Flop Days 5-10

I finish the two shortest states on trail and spend a zero day in my old stomping grounds in Baltimore.

May 21, 2024 : Luke W
Humble Beginnings in Northern Virginia: AT Flip Flop Days 0-4

Humble Beginnings in Northern Virginia: AT Flip Flop Days 0-4

Read about my treacherous journey getting to trail, slack packing the first two days with my dad, and tackling the Virginia rollercoaster right away.

May 17, 2024 : Luke W
Trading My Cane for Trekking Poles: Overcoming Back Pain to Hike the AT

Trading My Cane for Trekking Poles: Overcoming Back Pain to Hike the AT

In late 2021, I couldn't walk without the help of a cane. Now two and half years later I am embarking on the Appalachian Trail with the intent to thru hike all 2,197.4 miles. Read about my journey through back pain, treatment, and recovery, as well as what I'm doing differently to maximize my chances for a successful hike.

May 14, 2024 : Luke W
How Lying About Wanting to Hike the AT Turned into a Thru Hike Attempt

How Lying About Wanting to Hike the AT Turned into a Thru Hike Attempt

An AT thru hike ambition that started with a lie? See how I took a little lie and ambition into a thru hike attempt and why a flip flop is right for me.

Apr 27, 2024 : Luke W