The Way Life Should Be

Something happened yesterday. I was hiking all alone and I turned a corner and stopped. I just sat there for about 20 minutes without saying anything. The sun was setting and all I could hear was the little noises of the woods. There was a sign that said, “Welcome to MAINE”. I had made it. I started in Georgia for the last 4+ months have been walking to Maine. Unfortunately it was late and I had many miles to do in the dark so I pushed on. But I kept thinking to myself. I had walked almost 1900 miles at this point and I know I am close to the finish. It seems like all I have to do is wrap it up. 

The White Mountain National Forest was an awesome section of the trail. It is the first time us Northbounders get above tree line. I was lucky and had amazing weather most of the time. Which is good for an area known for its bad weather. I summated Mount Moosilauke in a dense fog with a constant 40-60 mph wind with gusts higher than that. I knew I would be the only one crazy enough to be up there at 7 pm so I knew I had it to myself. I’ve gotten pretty good at hiking with a lean. The rest of the ‘Whites’ were gorgeous. Tons of pictures coming hopefully.  

I am currently at ‘The Cabin’ in Maine and about to have lobster for dinner. You have no idea how long I’ve dreamed about Maine lobster. I was going to wait for the finish but the people I am staying with are cooking it for dinner. Impossible to pass. Thank you to DaleAmerica for this amazing trail magic. I’ve picked up the miles recently and this helps my weary bones.  I also traversed the Mahoosic Notch today. It is known as the toughest mile on the trail. Its all boulders (house-size) in this very narrow notch between two mountains. There is year round ice and a moose carcass right in the middle of the trail. ��

So less than 300 to go. One really fun thing has been meeting all the Southbounders. You know wherever you meet them that combined you have done the entire trail. You try to pass along helpful information about the trail or towns or whatever. I get jealous with everyone I meet because they have so much cool stuff ahead of them. I look back and think of all the good times and amazing experiences. Since they have been on the trail a month a lot of them are trying to find their groove and like to talk about their miles and averages. I try to tell them that they miles will just come and don’t worry about them. There is so much fun to be had and if you enjoy yourself enough and hold out through the tough times, you���ll get to where I am at. In my final state and afraid to finish.

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– 1, 121 – 1, 121 – 2, 59 – 8, 72 – 6, 105 – 1, 124 – 5, 86 – 9, 77 – 8, 91 – 7, 73 – 8, 80 – 2, 81 – 8, 109 – 4, 75 – 6, 79 – 8, 81 – 8, 112 – 8, 105 – 6, 82 – 6, 81 – 2, 89 – 7, 109 – 6, 61 – 8, 89 – 7, 59 – 8, 82 – 8, 107 – 2, 88 – 5, 76 – 4, 99 – 9, 92 – 9, 92 – 5, 92 – 5, 66 – 9, 96 – 6, 76 – 2, 111 – 7, 112 – 1, 116 – 5, 77 – 6, 111 – 7, 124 – 4, 52 – 9, 94 – 7, 55 – 7, 83 – 9, 73 – 3, 93 – 6, 89 – 1, 92 – 6, 87 – 8, 99 – 2, 90 – 8, 95 – 9, 113 – 8, 107 – 7, 114 – 6, 80 – 7, 70 – 1, 95 – 6, 58 – 9, 110 – 2, 115 – 8, 96 – 8, 114 – 5, 70 – 4, 88 – 4, 92 – 3, 116 – 8, 128 – 9, 83 – 3, 92 – 7, 96 – 9, 97 – 7, 87 – 6, 106 – 8, 111 – 2, 86 – 4, 70 – 2, 41 – 2, 61 – 2, 11 – 1, 108 – 6, 119 – 2, 117 – 7, 103 – 4, 117 – 1, 112 – 7, 113 – 2, 116 – 6, 33 – 1, 128 – 8, 114 – 3, 115 – 1, 102 – 7, 103 – 2, 113 – 3, 101 – 2, 49 – 9, 120 – 5, 117 – 1, 123 – 9, 110 – 5, 114 – 4, 109 – 6, 49 – 5, 41 – 9, 115 – 8, 107 – 6, 122 – 1, 49 – 8, 33 – 1, 131 – 8, 16 – 6, 41 – 9, 33 – 1, 123 – 5, 101 – 4, 115 – 1, 35 – 3, 117 – 3, 102 – 1, 118 – 3, 38 – 6, 62 – 1, 35 – 3, 48 – 9, 42 – 3, 67 – 8, 17 – 7, 34 – 2, 38 – 6, 109 – 7, 112 – 1, 116 – 2, 33 – 1, 44 – 4, 119 – 1, 100 – 3, 115 – 1, 36 – 4, 112 – 7, 40 – 8, 64 – 3, 41 – 9, 51 – 3, 63 – 4, 39 – 7, 108 – 3, 40 – 8, 63 – 3, 35 – 3, 119 – 4, 121 – 5, 123 – 9, 113 – 8, 113 – 3, 106 – 3, 47 – 1, 115 – 7, 108 – 7, 116 – 6, 110 – 7, 124 – 8, 107 – 3, 66 – 7, 34 – 2, 109 – 4, 46 – 3, 51 – 8, 43 – 2, 37 – 5, 127 – 4, 13 – 3, 41 – 9, 33 – 1, 33 – 1, 36 – 4, 118 – 4, 104 – 3, 120 – 5, 39 – 7, 52 – 9, 63 – 2, 37 – 5, 88 – 5, 124 – 8, 121 – 7, 111 – 6, 119 – 9, 109 – 6, 53 – 7, 105 – 3, 123 – 9, 117 – 6, 112 – 3, 72 – 5, 111 – 7, 105 – 8, 116 – 2, 71 – 4, 120 – 9, 105 – 5, 103 – 2, 49 – 9, 117 – 2, 122 – 6, 117 – 3, 106 – 1, 117 – 7, 107 – 4, 55 – 9, 101 – 2, 105 – 1, 100 – 3, 119 – 5, 69 – 2, 113 – 2, 103 – 3, 103 – 2, 73 – 8, 121 – 5, 49 – 9, 107 – 2, 47 – 6, 35 – 3, 103 – 9, 18 – 8, 33 – 1, 37 – 5, 34 – 2, 38 – 6, 36 – 4, 33 – 1, 37 – 5, 39 – 7, 35 – 3, 33 – 1, 35 – 3, 39 – 7, 39 – 7, 37 – 5, 38 – 6, 37 – 5, 35 – 3, 40 – 8, 40 – 8, 41 – 9, 36 – 4, 38 – 6, 41 – 9, 39 – 7, 37 – 5, 39 – 7, 41 – 9, 34 – 2, 33 – 1, 36 – 4, 37 – 5, 38 – 6, 111 – 4, 108 – 7, 123 – 2, 54 – 8, 101 – 2, 105 – 1, 101 – 4, 119 – 5, 70 – 3, 115 – 4, 102 – 2, 105 – 4, 68 – 3, 122 – 6, 49 – 9, 111 – 6, 39 – 7, 40 – 3, 35 – 3, 114 – 7, 104 – 3, 125 – 4, 48 – 2, 114 – 6, 102 – 1, 112 – 2, 104 – 1, 124 – 8, 113 – 9, 46 – 5, 47 – 6, 65 – 6, 11 – 1, 39 – 7, 39 – 7, 129 – 4, 12 – 2, 38 – 6, 37 – 5, 123 – 9, 102 – 1, 119 – 3, 119 – 2, 120 – 6, 112 – 2, 41 – 9, 122 – 8, 104 – 3, 117 – 2, 61 – 2, 13 – 3, 126 – 1, 13 – 3, 17 – 7, 126 – 8, 104 – 7, 115 – 1, 37 – 5, 104 – 4, 108 – 7, 100 – 1, 36 – 4, 69 – 8, 33 – 1, 128 – 8, 113 – 2, 120 – 6, 97 – 2, 105 – 4, 112 – 2, 108 – 9, 46 – 6, 103 – 6, 124 – 8, 117 – 6, 101 – 3, 45 – 5, 106 – 5, 116 – 6, 106 – 7, 109 – 8, 103 – 3, 46 – 5, 47 – 3, 41 – 9, 115 – 8, 109 – 8, 126 – 5, 43 – 2, 61 – 2, 18 – 8, 46 – 6, 114 – 4, 108 – 7, 126 – 7, 39 – 7, 74 – 4, 125 – 8, 119 – 9, 108 – 9, 122 – 6, 114 – 9, 114 – 3, 111 – 1, 41 – 1, 104 – 4, 105 – 4, 104 – 5, 44 – 3, 47 – 6, 49 – 9, 45 – 4, 68 – 9, 14 – 4, 16 – 6)))();

 

Can You Say Moosilauke?

Trill called yesterday to tell us he was on Mt. Moosilauke.  He said he was above the tree line, had 40 feet visibility and the wind was blowing constantly at 60 mph…..and he was having a great time!  He was hiding behind a stone wall just so we could hear him.

His hiking buddy Allgood has taken off a few days to see friends.  He thought he might have lyme’s disease but is much better after some antibiotics.  HIs brother Ben is going up to hike some with him week after next so they are looking forward to that.

Less than 400 miles to go.   390 to be exact.

Keep praying.

 

Encouragement

Trill was recently quoted in a Note of Encouragement from Ciloa.org.  Chuck (trailname: Stryder) uses some of Trill’s thoughts and feelings on what it is like to hike the AT to relate to how we can and do look at life’s journey.   One interesting quote from the Note:

Solomon once wrote, Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) Notice that the real emphasis here is not on the “one”. It’s on the “two”.

I think Trill would concur that the friendship he has developed on the trail and the kindness he has seen in various towns by complete strangers has been one of the best experiences of his trip.

 

Random Photos

Trill sent these photos along with his last update, but didn’t include any descriptions.  I can only assume the one of the roof has the infamous “Whites” in the background.  The rest I guess are fairly self explanatory.

(left and right arrow keys to navigate, esc to exit)

picture-001.jpgpicture-002.jpgpicture-006.jpgpicture-004.jpgpicture-011.jpg

 

Ivy League

Well I am back on a college campus. Kinda. Dartmouth is in summer session and the only students here are rising juniors. The campus is filled however with high school and college students from all over doing camps and workshops. Almost everyone we meet is not a student but still a cool place.

We are currently staying at the co-ed fraternity house of Phi Tau. They put up thru-hikers during the summer and let us crash in their “movie room” in the basement. Living in a fraternity house is much different the woods and the change is welcomed for a little while at least. I say we because Allgood, Sunnyside and Pebble are all staying there. We actually all zeroed today and good thing because is rained buckets. It has actually been raining for like the last week solid. Usually only about half the day but still not very fun. One day we just sat in the shelter till 5pm and hiked till about 1am.

Vermont is over with and “The Whites” loom. Should be about three days before I get into them. They complicate things a little bit because there aren’t any shelters. Instead they have ‘huts’. Which are run by the AMC and charge 90 bucks a night to stay in. Thru hikers have to show up before 6 and usually can get a ‘work for stay’ which includes cleaning up or helping out to avoid the 90 dollar charge. It will also be the first time we get above tree line which makes my hammock worthless. Literally everyone talks about the whites all the time. I am sure their beauty will stand up to their reputation. I got my winter gear back because of the unpredictability of the weather. Should be fun and I am pumped.

 

Trill hits the Presses

Trill’s article came out in the Auburn Plainsman newspaper today.  Thank you Katie for sharing his story.  Here is the link which I hope will take you to the article.  If not, Ben will post a link later.

Auburn students fulfill dream, venture up Appalachian Trail – The Auburn Plainsman

 

Vermont Pictures

Trill is so much better at coming up with titles for these posts.  Oh well,  Here are some pictures he’s sent from Vermont.

(right and left arrow keys to navigate, esc key to exit)

 Vermont BorderAllgood doing some trail maintenanceAllgood and SunnysideView from Stratton Mtn Fire TowerPatch of ButterfliesRock cairns along the trailMore rock cairnsEven more rock cairns

  1. Vermont Border
  2. AllGood Doing Trail Maintenance
  3. AllGood and SunnySide
  4. View From Stratton Mtn Fire Tower
  5. Patch of Butterflies
  6. Rock Cairns Along the Trail
  7. More Rock Cairns
  8. Even More Rock Cairns
 

Cheddar and Syrup.

That is what people think Vermont has to offer. They call it the green state. Let me tell you it is VERY green. I’ve really enjoyed hiking in this state. Constantly surrounded by dense forests with spruces and firs. The only problem I see is that people are focused on “the Whites”. They have an allure to themselves. Ever since Georgia people have been talking about them. The difficulty and being above treeline and the limited camping spots. Frankly, I’ll see them when I see them. I’m really enjoying Vermont.

The other day Allgood and I ran into a maintence crew working on the trail. Of course we volunteered to help. We ended up carrying 4″x12″x10′ boards about 1/4 mile up hill. Pretty good work out but we were glad to give a little back to the trail that has given us so much. Turns out one of the other volunteers lived in Manchester Center and told us how to get into contact with him when we got there. He ended up letting Allgood, Sunnyside, Pebble and myself stay with him. Just more of the amazing generosity you find on the trail.

I am currently in Rutland, VT. I am staying with a religious group called the Twelve Tribes. You should check them out at Twelvetribes.org. They are a community based religious group that lives together, share everything and are self sustaining. Their tagline is “Come for a day, or to stay.” I’ll be moving on though. Maybe after I catch Indiana Jones.

There is a good possibility I will be in this weeks Plainsman. If you have a chance to pick one up, I’d apprecaite it if you saved me a copy. My parents got my football tickets while I was gone but no Alabama away ticket. I don’t get it. 15 hours short of graduation and no tickets available at the time of registering.

As for my timeline, I’ll probably be in Hanover, New Hampshire in 3 or 4 days. Thats the home of the Ivy League school Dartmouth. I wonder what they will think of my beard and sometimes southern drawl. I have less than 500 miles to go. One step at a time.

 

Vermont

Just heard from Trill and he is in Manchester Center VT and sleeping indoors. Allgood and he were hiking Monday and ran into some people that were doing trail maintenance, I assume from the Green Mountain Club but he did not say. They helped them carry some whopping big timbers about a mile into the trail and they were so thankful, they invited them to spend the night at one of their homes in Manchester Center. So, Trill was excited to shower, laundry and charge his cell phone.

He is currently with Allgood and 2 other hikers , Sunny side and Pebble at the home . (Hope I got that right) He was hiking with Master Alex as well but unfortunately, MA was almost certain he had Lyme Disease and checked into a hospital for tests. Trill had heard he has been released and did a bit of slack-packing but plans to return to Quebec for a few days before picking the trail back up. Good luck to you Master Alex. Heal fast.

Watch for Trill to possibly hit the headlines soon. The Sports Editor of the Auburn Plainsman (the Auburn University student paper) returned a call from Trill’s Mom and may want to do a special interest story on him and Roundhouse for the paper. Brandon has talked to her and she plans to ask him some questions for a story. How cool is that! She is also considering a weekly progress update so all his work buddies at the Auburn-Opelika Airport can track him. Be sure to save us a copy FlightEd.

Trill’s next mail drop will be Hanover, NH and he expects to be there 6/23 so you best send anything quickly to reach him. Guess what I am to send….. all his winter gear he sent home back in late April. he wants his fleece, gloves and cap for the Whites (Mountains). I know Mt. Washington has its horror stories but it is hard to sit in 90 degrees and think about being cold.

He is in good spirits and is enjoying the journey more now than racking off the miles. Continue to pray for his safety and strength but also add that God begins preparing him for the finish. Plunging back into the “Real World” will come soon! Katahdin is only a little over a month and 538 miles away.

 

About time..

It’s about time for a picture update and Trill has finally been able to find a computer to upload some pictures. I’ve included Trill’s description of the photos below.

(use left and right arrows to navigate, esc to exit)

Auburn Lookout in PADan’s Pulpit in PAOld zinc mining mountain that destroyed the veg.Master alex calling QuebecRattlesnake in NJEntering NYAllgood and Master AlexAllgood and Master Alex at RPH ShelterLast bit of NYConn BorderMaster Alex looking over a cliff near Great Falls , ConnUs on top of Bear MountainMass. BorderMt. Everett from a distanceUpper Goose Pond CabinUpper Goose Pond

  1. Auburn lookout in PA
  2. Dan’s Pulpit in PA.
  3. Old zinc mining mountain that destroyed the veg.
  4. Master alex calling Quebec
  5. Rattlesnake in NJ
  6. Entering NY
  7. Allgood and Master Alex
  8. Allgood and Master Alex at RPH Shelter
  9. Last bit of NY
  10. Conn. Border
  11. Master Alex looking over a cliff near Great Falls , Conn
  12. Us on top of Bear Mountain
  13. Mass. Border
  14. Mt. Everett from a distance
  15. Upper Goose Pond Cabin
  16. Upper Goose Pond