Faces of the Appalachian Trail, 2014: Marji & Jim Robinson

Trail Name: Flossie (Marji) and Gray Squirrel (Jim)
Home State: New York
Occupation: Retired teacher (Marji) and retired software engineer (Jim)
Hike Timeline: March 13 – August 12, 2014

Why did you decide to hike?

Marji: I have read many books and trail journals about the Appalachian Trail and the physical challenge was intriguing to me. Also, we have always enjoyed outdoor activities like backpacking, canoeing and biking.

Jim: I wanted an epic-length adventure that I never had the time to do while I was working.

What was the most challenging part of the journey?

M: The last month when we were in New Hampshire and Maine.

J: The White Mountains in New Hampshire.

What was the most memorable part of the journey?

M: Reaching the summit of Mt. Katahdin.

J: Interaction with the trail “family.”

How did you feel after the hike was over?

M: Short term; exhaustion, exhilaration and incredibly proud. Long-term; a real sense of achievement and a closeness to all the hikers we met along the way.

J: Short term; proud, but missed the simplicity and singular focus of hiking life. Long term; great sense of accomplishment and a realization of how fortunate we were in completing our thru-hike.

What did you gain from the experience?

M: A huge boost to my self-confidence and a renewed sense of the goodness of regular people.

J: Appreciation of the good in everyday people and appreciation that you don’t need very many possessions to be happy.

What are your goals for the future?

M: To find some other significant adventures to try and to enjoy the opportunities that home life can present.

J: I want to do more long duration adventures … for one, the Pacific Crest Trail.

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