Today, I joined the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) for a hike in Timber Hollow, in Shenandoah National Park. This hike, the “Len Wheat Bushwhack Series #3”, was the first hike I’ve done that was largely off-trail: a bushwhack. This hike’s goal was to visit some of the ruins of abandoned houses in Shenandoah, from before Shenandoah was a national park, and it was as great as hike as it was difficult.
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An open letter to all prospective 2017 (and future) AT thru-hikers:
It’s natural to get pre-hike jitters or fears, or doubts. But don’t let them scare you away. There is such a thing as too much planning. It’s very easy to overthink, and over-stress, and over-worry. Sure, bad stuff could happen on the trail. But worrying about it now won’t help, or stop it from happening. You’ll just have to deal with setbacks if and when they arise.
You are about to embark on an absolutely amazing journey, that (relatively) few people have started, let alone successfully completed. Between fellow hikers, trail angels, trail maintenance clubs, and all the local communities and trail towns, the AT has an absolutely wonderful community surrounding it. Everyone wants you to succeed, and everyone will help you along the way.
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With the temperature above freezing, the landscape today looked much different than what the mountain provided two Saturdays ago. Some very nice weather last week and rain over the weekend assisted in melting the snow that previously covered the mountain, leaving a trail largely clear of the signs of winter.
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I’m pleased to announce that in May, I will be giving two talks at the excellent php[tek] conference in Atlanta, GA. One will be a technical talk on computational algorithmic complexity. The other is a comparison of long-distance hiking and software development, which I developed over the course of my Appalachian Trail thru-hike, and which I’m particularly looking forward to giving.
I missed last year’s php[tek] because I was on the Appalachian Trail at the time. This was the first tek I’ve missed since 2010, so I’m happy that I get to go this year partially to talk about why I wasn’t there last year!
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