Aug 232011
A little over 2 days and 2 nights on the Appalachian Trail ~ Here are the stats!
  • Number of times I thought I felt the earth move – 1
  • Number of times the earth actually did move – 1 – Earthquake!
  • Great place to be when the earth moves, which I wasn’t, but would have been if I hadn’t bailed out half an hour earlier – on an infamously steep slope of Appalachian Trail scree
  • Animal sightings – Raccoon, 3 snakes, many deer, a wild peacock, peregrine falcon, chipmunks and squirrels out of control
  • Number of not quite dead animals left perfectly centered on the trail  – 2 – baby rats and a snake, all still clinging to a translucent thread of life (What is UP with that???)
  • Number of miles planned – 42
  • Number of miles actually hiked – 28.6
  • Number of mountains over 1000 feet ascended and quickly descended – 1,242 – okay maybe not 1,242, but a serious bunch nonetheless..
  • Biggest mistake of this particular trip – Not checking the elevation profiles beforehand
  • Number of bear sightings – 0
  • Number of entries read in hiker logs freaking out about the abnormally large amount of recent bear sightings – 7
  • Times I pretended to be a bear late at night around sleeping hikers – 1, but not on purpose
  • Biggest negative of the trip – Development of “bear-anoia” thanks to the hiker logs – I literally slept with a can of bug spray (that’ll get em) and my dome-chrome umbrella in my hands after hiking all of my food and anything that might have essence of food  a half mile away from camp.
  • Biggest hooray of the trip – Coyotes singing me to sleep every single night
  • 2nd biggest hooray – the reinvigoration of my passion for voluntary night hiking
  • 3rd biggest hooray – Spotted fawn came right up to me.
  • All the zeros – zero rain – zero pain – zero bugs (where the hell’d they go?) – zero times lost – zero crowds – zero blisters – zero desire to leave
  • Number of times I was standing in frozen shock and a little bit of anger at the frequency and steepness of the climbs on the Appalachian  Trail when some over-chipper thru-hiker sailed past me with a big fat smile on their face smelling like swamp– 5
  • Most missed piece of gear – trekking poles
  • Number of text messages sent – 2 – First one: “Ahhh, the coyotes are singing me to sleep”. Second one, in response to a request to come into work: “I am currently on the Appalachian Trail on top of Ass-Bust Mountain eating a peanut butter sandwich, and the only way I’m going to climb down, hitchhike to Greenwood Lake, and catch a bus back to the city so I can be at work is if there is someone there whom I can repeatedly punch in the stomach without any consequences to myself.. Let me know as soon as you can cause I’m about to descend into a steep ravine and there’s a good chance my cell phone may get brutally pummeled by aggressive boulders there.”
  • Days until I have to be back at work – one more
  • Number of mushrooms spotted that I’m sure have come from outer space – At least 12
  • Number of outrageously beautiful waterfalls – 1 – (see below)
  • Number of times stuck in a crevice – 1 – free chiropractic care!
  • Percentage increase of personal desire to do 6 month – 3 year long distance hiking excursion 5,888,808,009%
I began the hike at night and I’d like to share with you my absolutely most favorite part of night hiking:


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  12 Responses to “Appalachian Trail Trip Stats, Night Video, and Bear-anoia”

  1. Great post. What was work’s reply?

  2. It was: “Didn’t realize you were out of town. We’ll work it out. Have fun!”

    (guess I overreacted)

  3. You needn’t have worried, it’s a well-known fact that black bears are instinctively afraid of umbrella’s.

  4. haha I KNEW it!!!

  5. Super post! I enjoyed your stats. I am suprised there were no bugs since I would think they would be big and in mass amounts. I enjoyed the bear-anoia stats as well. I would have it too.

  6. Absolutely loved this post – and black as black….wow!

  7. Those ROOTS! That WATERFALL! Those are anything but distant memories…all too familiar! I cannot believe how clear the memory of hiking past that waterfall was when I saw your photo! Glad to hear that your feet have landed on the AT and though the black of night conceals the blackened bear, rest assured you will hear bags of food drop in the night!

  8. Derek!! Where are you??

  9. Beautiful!!! You are tuff as nails. I have to admit I am scared of the dark.

  10. Great
    I love your stats

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