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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It’s a new year, which means, it’s time for a new hike! My latest hike with MAHG was on the northern part of Catoctin Mountain, in Cunningham Falls State Park and Catoctin Mountain Park, near Thurmont, MD.
Cacoctin roughly parallels South Mountain (about 7 miles to the west), the mountain the Appalachian Trail follows in its course through Maryland, making this the closest hike I’ve done to the AT in Maryland (besides the AT itself).
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