So, over the winter I’ve been busy poring over my packing lists sections I hiked, gear I should upgrade (chasing that ever-elusive Base Pack Weight), and pretty much boring to tears anyone that would even dare ask me ANYTHING about hiking or the Appalachian Trail. My inner geek thrived on Excel spredsheets of gear weights and combinations, trail mileage, and collecting maps. So far I have National Geographic Trails Illustrated maps of the AT from Dick’s Creek Gap in GA to the northern end of Shenandoah National Park in VA.
Having nothing to do but come up with “goals” during the winter, there are a few hikes I’d like to complete this year (mostly tying up “loose ends” from last year):
1) Finish the section I bailed out of from Spivey Gap – Erwin, TN. (11.2 miles)
2) Complete the 4.5 mi section from Damascus/US 58/Va Creeper – Straight Branch that I didn’t hike. (4.5 miles)
3) Hike the little section from VA 601 Beech Mtn Rd to VA 600 Elk Garden left over from last year. (5.7 miles)
4) Hike the Snowbird Mountain- Max Patch section (leftover from last year as well). (8.1 miles)
The more lofty goal I’d set for myself in the next year or so is to complete the entire 229 miles of Appalachian Trail from Davenport Gap, TN to Damascus, VA. I hate having “Swiss Cheese” holes in the section of AT I visit the most. Call me crazy, I’ll accept it. The thing that’ll keep me from that goal is wanting to re-hike the absolutely kickass sections I’ve done already- the Roan Highlands, McAfee Knob, and of course, Grayson Highlands State Park & Mt Rogers.
Maybe I’ll settle for completing 10% of the AT this year (220 miles). Maybe I’ll shoot for logging miles in GA, NC, TN, and VA. Who knows? I just want to get out there!