“Hey man, is there any way you can come hike with me on the Appalachian Trail?” I anxiously asked all my close friends.
“No, I’ve gotta’ work,” was the response I invariably received.
“Well, how bout’ just going for a week or two,” I virtually pleaded with most of them.
I was distraught. Fortunately the story has a happy ending. For the minute I stepped foot onto America’s most popular footpath, it became clear that the Appalachian Trail Community runs wide and deep. Approximately 3,000,000 hikers per year hike some part of it each year. Amongst that three million are approximately 2,000 thru-hikers. These are people attempting to hike the entire 2,181 mile trail from Georgia to Mount Katahdin in northern Maine in one hiking season. Thru-hikers usually begin their hikes in late March or early April. Anybody beginning in that time frame is virtually assured of being in the midst of a ‘bubble’ of hikers for the entire fourteen states.