Sunday, October 22, 2012:
Here's my official AT thru-hiker mug shot.
... and then ... they gave me TWO mug shots, because I will have completed two thru-hikes. The first one is my SoBo shot, the other is NoBo. (Normal yo-yo hikers pass through here on two separate days and get two mug shots also. I'm just unique in that my two shots are taken the same day, one as I arrive from the north, the other as I depart, returning to the north - does that make sense?)
It was a glorious day, so I almost begrudged my time indoors visiting with staff, volunteers and other visitors. Besides getting my mug shots taken, I had to check all the photos of other 2012 hikers. Here's just one that I want to share - Corky and I hiked together for about an hour one day up in Massachusetts. Here she is finishing at Katahdin -- in her Crocs! (as always). And she's posing the way I wanted to pose but didn't have the guts to - or the balance. Way to go, Corky!! (She sent in this photo after completing her hike and they posted it on the bulletin board in the hiker room.)
I got a chance to meet with Laurie Potteiger for a free-ranging discussion on what kind of book I'd like to write to share my experience. Options include a story of my personal adventure (perhaps a bit bland compared to some of the stories already written), a coffee table book featuring photos (ATC already has an excellent one), or a guide for day hikers - experienced and novice. I like this last option best ... a chance to attract people to the trail, just to hike it once - one little piece - experience the magic of this famous trail, and maybe get inspired to do more, to join a local hiking club, to do some maintaining ... whatever.
Tentative title and subtitles are now: "Come Walk this Famous Trail: 50 Best Day Hikes on the Appalachian Trail, Maine to Georgia"
Outside again, I hiked through town, with fall color resplendent, St. Peters church glowing in the morning sun.
Then I headed into Maryland, my long-time home state, and where I first fell in love with the AT. I hiked up to the Ed Garvey Shelter and visited Weverton Cliffs, taking in the great view on this crystal clear fall day.
And I found the single most rustic trail marker yet, on a telephone pole - far-and-away the best anywhere on the trail:
Weather for the coming week looks spectacular, if not too warm. I'm hoping to get in most of the remaining miles (just 53 left!) hiked (both ways, of course) before a serious weather change moves in next weekend.
Here's the map showing today's hike route, and a link to a bunch of additional photos:
AT Day 263 - Weverton Cliffs at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Maryland