Cheryl McCormick writes:
In a few weeks I will take the first of millions of steps to cover 2187 miles on the Appalachian Trail. Well, who knows how far I will get. I am on schedule though, to leave as planned on my 63rd birthday, April 5th. My pack is ready; with winter clothes and 4 days of food it weighs 24 pounds.
I have attached a photo of myself with all of my gear. This was taken in October during a shake-down hike in Montana. The only piece I have changed is my stove. I have put aside the small alcohol stove you see in the photo (little grey round thing between the yellow fuel bottle and the red swiss knife) for something that weighs a few ounces more but can burn fuel tabs, wood, or alcohol.
My tent and backpack are behind me in the photo. Everything else is in front of me on my foam sleeping mat. If you go on to my online trail journal and click on the “gear” tab you can look at the list and how much each item weighs. The strap around my waist is a “chair”. I have added some webbing to the long sack that my trekking poles came in. It is adjustable and gives my back support when I have nothing else to lean against.
I have been studying and writing haiku, mostly in care of two of my best supporters. Within the last month they both have had surgery for breast cancer. I try to send a photo with a short poem (haiku) to them each day…but my brain tires and I only manage about 5 per week. Hopefully the haiku and photography give my friends space away from their tribulations.
The challenge of walking the entire AT, even with the elevation changes equal to 15 climbs up Mt. Everest, pales in light of what many are dealing with in their lives.
Read more of Clinker’s journey on the Appalacian Trail
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