My first thru-hike was on the Appalachian Trail. I had first learned of the AT during the Peace Corps when I read a book about a woman hiking the 2,165 mile trail. I was captivated, and after my service in Burkina Faso, West Africa (1999-2001) was over, I hiked the trail with Cindy “Average Joe” Ryals, not only one of my good friends from the Peace Corps, but a fellow Wisconsinite. I moved to Madison, WI to work at the University for a few months until our hike, and to hang out with Cindy for the winter.
We started from Springer Mountain on March 20, and climbed Katahdin on August 22.
I kept a daily journal on the hike, but never digitized the entries.
This is the hike that started it all. After finishing, I moved to Washington DC to intern at the Smithsonian and entertain the idea of going to grad school for museum exhibition design. So I did that next and I went on to hike the West Highland Way in Scotland in the summer of 2004.