I’ve spent a lot of time in Wyoming’s wilder places, but I’ve probably barely scratched the surface of even ten percent of what our state has to offer. But that doesn’t mean I have to see it all before I go check out other parts of the country.
One of these years, I’d really like to go out east and see how far I can get on the Appalachian Trail. It runs from Mount Katahdin in Maine all the way to Springer Mountain in Georgia. It’s two-thousand, one hundred seventy-eight miles of hiking, though there are several places where it intersects with civilization.
There are two main ways to hike the AT, as it’s called. You can try to do it in one fell swoop. Going end-to-end without a break is known as through-hiking. You can also do it in chunks. I don’t know if I’d be able to do a through-hike, but if I did, I’d try it from the north and head south. That’s how most through-hikers do it, because they don’t encounter as much wintery weather, since they’re usually down by Georgia when it gets to be fall, rather than Maine.
I first got interested in hiking the AT after reading Bill Bryson’s book, “A Walk in the Woods.” Whether you think you might hike the trail someday or not, pick up a copy of Bryson’s book. It’s one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, but it’s also highly inspiring. If you are thinking of hiking the AT, it’s a must-read. Between the funny stories and complaints about blisters, heavy packs and bad weather, you’ll pick up a ton of useful warnings about dangers and obstacles you really don’t want to learn about the hard way.
Hiking the Appalachian Trail is definitely one of my top bucket list items, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get to do it. I’m sure the opportunity to walk a section or two will present itself from time to time. Until then, I’ll keep training here in Wyoming, maybe even on our own section of the Continental Divide Trail.