The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the AT, is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. It is approximately 2,181 miles long. The path is maintained by 30 trail clubs and multiple partnerships,and managed by the National Park Service and the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The majority of the trail is in wilderness, although some portions do traverse towns and roads, and cross rivers. The Appalachian Trail is famous for its many hikers, some of whom, called thru-hikers, attempt to hike it in its entirety in a single season. Along the way, the trail passes through the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Pictures, Pine Grove and Ice Cream 7/5
We received a SD card in the mail yesterday. New pictures are listed in the right column. These are through much of Virginia ending in Harpers Ferry. The last pictures are Ryan’s entry in the Appalachian Trail Conservancy register of thru hikers. Ryan was number 650 for the year that’s made it approximately ½ way as either a northbound or southbound hiker.
Yesterday he reached the actual ½ way point at 1090 miles.
Ryan called late yesterday asking that we renew his prescription of doxycycline. He feels that he has Lyme disease and has started a cycle of antibiotic. Approximately 20% of the thru hikers are reporting it this year as a result of deer ticks bites. Lyme disease is a very serious condition if not treated promptly. Ryan is fortunate in that he received a prescription from his Dr in the event. Finding an attached tick and developing a bullseye ring around the bite is a pretty good indication. He said they are averaging 5 ticks a day. They are sometimes nearly impossible because to see they are much smaller than the ticks he’s used to seeing in Ohio. Symptoms are rash, joint pain, flu-like symptom, fever, and headache. He reported all. He started feeling bad yesterday and that the last 7 miles were the most difficult of his entire hike thus far. He started the doxycycline in the afternoon was feeling better today.
He must have felt better because he took on the ice cream challenge at Pine Grove, PA.
“For the past three decades, long-distance hikers arriving at the midway point of the 2,180-mile Georgia-to-Maine footpath have made it a tradition to stop at Pine Grove Furnace State Park in south-central Pennsylvania and eat an entire brick of ice cream. The reward: bragging rights, a small commemorative wooden spoon stamped in red letters with "Member of Half Gal. Club," About 350 thru-hikers each year successfully complete the gastronomic feat.”
Ryan said it was a breeze and still had the appetite to eat some more.
He said the trail in Pennsylvania so far has been rocky and relatively hilly. There has been many rock scrambles. Over the past 3 days they have averaged 20 miles/day. He’s still hiking with Kipper, Chimp and Achilles. Monday they encountered their first rattlesnake. He’s looking forward to getting into Duncannon later this week to get his mail package and pack replacement. The replacement pack he was sent in Harper’s ended up being too small and was causing some rubbing issues. The manufacturer is sending the next size up to Duncannon.
Other than the Lyme he still sounds strong. He promised to report in on how he’s feeling in a few days.