The AT at 60+

Since I made the decision to thru hike the AT I’ve received a huge range of comments from people when they find out what I’m going to do and exactly what the AT is and how long it is. I’ve heard everything from, man that is so cool, I really wish I could do that, to, that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Mostly I have great support from my family, although I think some of the are in the “craziest camp”! I get a ton of questions about the trail and about what I’ll have to carry, where I’ll sleep, what I’ll do if I see a bear,and a miriad of other questions. But the question I get most often is, are you going with someone? I tell them that I’m hiking alone and as you can imagine, that’s when I get a lot of the “craziest” comments. I’m actually looking forward to the experience “alone”. Not that I’m a loner, far from it, I’m a very social person. But this is something I want to experience on my own. I’m a new blogger here on the Trek and I’d like to thank Zach and the Trek for extending this privilege to me. I look forward to sharing my experiences in readying myself for the trail and the the Adventure with all of you! God bless and Happy Hiking!

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Comments 15

  • George : Feb 10th

    I’m going to be 66 in March. Started out to thru hike last year. Walked from Marion to Harpers Ferry, came home to visit the wife and dogs, slipped on the stairs and tore rotator cuff. God has a sense of humor! After surgery and 4 months rehab, I walked from Marion to Springer. I’ll be walking from Harpers Ferry to akatahdin this year. Maybe I’ll see you out there. There are geezers out there. Have fun. I blog on the site too. Started out as a way to make the audience bigger to make it harder to quit. I can testify that even at our age, life on the trail starts to feel normal. My hard unbreakable rule is never quit until you’ve been clean, well rested and well fed. Worked for me so far

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    • Dennis : Feb 11th

      I am 70 and Leaving from Harper’s Ferry going NOBO on April 6. Good luck!

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    • Gary Stell : Feb 14th

      Hello George, sorry about your fall and injury last year! Yes, God does indeed have a sense of humor! Good on you for getting back out on the trail. As I told Darrell, I’ll be leaving Harpers Ferry the weekend of April 14th & 15th after the Flip/Flop Festival so maybe we’ll meet up. Clean, well rested and well fed! Hmmmm, I could see that figuring into my plan somehow! Take care and Happy Trails!

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  • Darrell Barrett : Feb 11th

    I will be 66in April. I hiked about 600 miles in 2016 and had hoped to do a thru hike. Family medical issues forced me off the trail. God willing, I will pick back up in Marion, VA around the first week in April and hike to PA and get back on in July and hike further north as far as I feel like it. God bless you both. Encourager

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    • Gary Stell : Feb 14th

      Hi Darrell, good on you for the miles you logged last year. Sorry about the family issues that forced you off the trail. I pray that all is well on that front. And good on you for getting back on the trail this year. I’ll be leaving Harpers Ferry after the Flip/Flop Festival the weekend of April 14th & 15th. Perhaps we will meet up on the trail. God bless you and Happy Trails!

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  • Carolyn Thomas : Feb 11th

    I am 68 and would love to hike the AT, but would like someone to hike it with me. I love the outdoors and love hiking. Any takers????

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    • Dee Ripko : Feb 11th

      My 2 friends and myself are section-hikers. We’re known as the 3 Grammas!! We could make it 4!!! We pick a section, hike just under 200 miles, and we are gone about 1 month out of each year.

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    • Christine Taylor : Feb 11th

      Go Carolyn! You will find great people around every bend in the trail. I thru hiked the AT last year. You will meet people. You can do it.

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    • Gary Stell : Feb 14th

      Hi Carolyn! I can certainly understand wanting someone to hike with you. I wish you all the best in finding a suitable trail partner.
      Happy Trails!

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  • part time Hiker : Feb 11th

    I hope have the Best experiences of your life.Do you have a Trail Journal? Ifwhat i your journal name? Have Best of time Parttime hiker

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    • Gary Stell : Feb 14th

      Hey there part time hiker! I don’t have a trail journal yet. When I get one started I’ll post it here. Thank you, I plan on having a great time!
      Happy Trails!

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  • "Dulci" : Feb 12th

    I’m looking forward to following ur posts! I thru-hiked 2016 and hope to be out on the trail periodically meeting other hikers this year to offer trail magic. Wishing u the best of experiences!

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    • Gary Stell : Feb 14th

      Hello Dulci! Thank you for your well wishes! I appreciate it. Congratulations on your thru-hike last year! What an experience you must have had. I’m all ears anytime you want to “tell some tales”! Happy Trails!

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  • Niki : Feb 13th

    Thank you for sharing! I’m looking forward to hearing about your AT hike so I hope you post often! Every one of my 62 years is rooting for you! I am hoping to be able to do a through hike in the next year or two. Good luck to Carolyn too! Desire, attitude, tenacity and a bit of prep all trump numbers of years old!! My brain still thinks i’m 19!

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    • Gary Stell : Feb 14th

      It’s my pleasure Niki! I’ll try to keep everyone abreast of what’s going on with my preparation for the AT and I hope to be able to post pretty often from the trail as well. I appreciate being rooted for! 🙂 Thank you! I hope you do get the chance to experience the AT in all it’s splendor! I’ve been pretty regimented in my physical training to prepare for the journey. In January I walked as often as the weather would allow and got in quite a few miles. At the beginning of February I started carrying my pack as I walk. Unfortunately I don’t live in an area where I can easily access mountainous trails easily. So I just walk. I’m a firm believer that if you’re strengthening your body in good ways with the proper amount of walking and cardio and weight training, it will benefit me on the trail. Well, I’ve got dinner on the stove so I better mind it before I burn it! Happy Trails!

      Reply

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