Daily Archives: July 8, 2021

Hike Thru-hikers Forward: Update 7.8.21

PIppi

For those readers who may not be familiar with this emphasis of my blog, I try to provide a weekly update on a number of thru-hikers of the Appalachian Trail. They are each posting their progress on an online website (trailjournals.com). I originally selected five individuals (or teams) that had plans to begin their adventure between March 16 and March 23.

Rock and Roots

Pippi started on March 16. Her name is Debbie Dunkle. Pippi had successfully hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2011. However, she reported two very sore knees before ending her journal on March 30.

David and Annie Rothman (Rock and Roots) hit the trail on March 17. I believe they are still making their way north to Maine although their last post was on June 10. At that time there were bout 900 miles into the trail looking forward to reaching Harpers Ferry, WV.

Scooby

Scooby, aka Mike Carpenter, posted several pre-hike entries on his journal and was scheduled to take his step on March 19th , but he never posted from the trail. He might have abandoned to journal and is still out there hiking, or something came up in life that made him postpone or cancel his adventure.

The Hoots

The Hoots (Five women friends) decided to tackle the AT together. The coordinator of the hike was Terri (Five Pair), who is a thru-hiker alumna from 2012. The group consisted of Five Pair, Tina, Maggie (Soul Sista), Nancy (Mileage), and Karen (Jack Rabbit). Of the five only one remains: Tina left the trail first on March 26 (hospitalized family member); then Soul Sista on March 27 (this was a planned early exit); then Jack Rabbit on April 1 (missed her husband); then the previous thru-hiker, Five Pair, had to get off the trail with an injury (fractured tibia and two torn ligaments)  on April 19. Mileage is the only Hoot left. (See her update below).

Bookworm

Dennis Pack, Bookworm, was scheduled to start om March 23. He fell just days before and broke his wrist. This delayed his hike. He was able to begin on April 19. He decided to hike a flip/flop, starting in West Virginia and hiking to Maine, climbing Mt Katahdin in Maine and returning to WV to complete the AT from WV to Georgia. Currently he is in New Hampshire about 100 miles from the border of Maine

Rocksylvania

The big news this week is that I have heard from Mileage. Her journal went silent after April 28.  She was 368 miles into the hike and a few days north of Erwin, Tennessee. Just this week she posted a quick entry sharing that she hiked beyond the 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000 and 1100 mile markers. She is in Boiling Spring, PA (meaning she completed Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland). She promises to catch us up on her journey, but I will most likely just pick it back up in July and move forward instead of trying to fill in the details.   

Mileage is experiencing “Rocksylvania,” but the real challenge of the rocks still awaits her after she crosses over the Susquehanna River. From Boiling Spring to Duncannon, PA is pretty smooth, but then the rocks begin to get sharp and they seem to multiply and grow over night.

The sad news about Terri (Five Pair)’s injury was confirmed by an MRI showing a fractured tibia and two torn ligaments. Healing is goning well and Five Pair is increasingly enthusiastic for a potential return to the trail. I will keep you posted.

So, I followed five groups of people stepping out on the Appalachian Trail in the middle of March. It involved 10 individual hikers. As of today, only 4 are still hiking. Statistics show that only 1 out of every 4 make a successful thru-hike, so they are still ahead of the success rate.

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