AT by the numbers

My plan had been to write a real blog entry yesterday from Fort Montgomery, N.Y. … until my college friend Jeff drove 175 miles — each way — from Westchester, Pa., to spend the day with this smelly old hiker. So I took the day off. (OK, it was a near-zero after hiking 8.5 miles — 6.5 on trail, 2 on road — to get here.) So instead I thought I would give a quick numerical update of my trip so far:


Miles I have hiked.


Miles left to go.


Percent of the trail I have finished.


Days I have been on the trail. (In my first 41 days, I hiked 375 miles, including 32 miles with broken ribs. I got off the trail Aug. 26 at Franconia Notch. After five weeks of zero physical activity as my five ribs healed, I returned to Franconia Notch on Oct. 1 and have hiked 410 since.)


Miles I have averaged in those 86 days. (This includes every zero day I have taken, including the five straight while sick in the Berkshires.)

April 17

The date I will finish if I average 9.13 miles the rest of the way.

Jan. 31

My target date for finishing. (Something’s gotta give.)


Postcards I have sent to my children. (For those scoring at home, that’s 109 postcards to Forrest and 109 to Marlowe. Each has received an average of 1.27 a day.)


Times I was accosted for snoring. As a guy who snores, I am super self-conscious about being rude to others. So during the busy season on the trail (July and August), I spent most nights in my tent, even though most hikers bring earplugs if they plan to sleep in shelters. (Translation: Lots of hikers snore.) Now that there are so few hikers out for more than just day hikes, I sleep in shelters. A few nights ago, an unhappy hiker growled, “We need to do something about your snoring.” I felt like a jerk and told this fellow southbound hiker that it was too late for me to pitch my tent that night but I would the next time I saw him. (And the odds are I could be seeing him for months since we are both headed the same way.) I was sincere and felt like an inconsiderate jerk. That night, I awoke to the sound of a hurricane blowing from this guy’s bunk. His snoring — “This one goes to eleven!” as Nigel Tufnel so perfectly put it in “Spinal Tap” — peeled the paint off the shelter walls from 1 till 3 in the morning. He that is without sin among you — yeah, I’m talking to you, Mountain Man — let him cast the first stone.

One thought on “AT by the numbers

  1. Sounds like today is the day you cross the Hudson River and cross through Bear Mountain Park. Looks like a couple of dry sunny days – enjoy them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s