Made it to Boiling Springs PA

Sunday March 29. I got an invitation to spend the night with friends I met on the Trail. Fred Schrom works for a landscaping company. He was contracted to chop down dead trees near shelters that might fall on the shelters, or campers, who sleep in or near the shelters. This effort got started after an AT hiker got killed by s falling tree at the shelter just north of Harpers Ferry where Dave, my hiking buddy, and I spent our first night. It’s a freak accident. Just about as likely to happen on the Trail. I see dead trees that have fallen across the Trail all the time. The Trail volunteers do a great job of maintaining the AT. They get out there with chain saws and remove the dead trees that block the Trail.

Back on The blog after technical difficulties

Sorry folks. I haven’t been able to blog since 3/17. A lot has happened. My hiking buddy, Dave Hedrick, had to leave the Trail after 5 days with some kind of stomach problem. It caused him to have no appetite. So his wife came to pick up and brought along a wonderful surprise for me: my wonderful wife Joan. We 4 had a meal nearby. Dave couldn’t eat anything much. I hope he gets well soon so he can rejoin me farther up the Trail.
When we got to Dalgren camp site there were no hot showers. Rats! Not until “the season” in April.
We stayed the first night in the Ed Garvey shelter. That is where the unfortunate accident happened-a tree fell on a hiker and killed him. So MD reacted by sending in the chainsaws to cut all dead trees near shelters. Nice. But it is just as likely for a hiker to get hit by a tree along the AT. They can’t protect us from everything. But is the best response trey could do. It wouldn’t look good to do nothing.
At Ed Garvey we camped with two marvelous midshipmen from the Naval Academy in Annapolis MD on spring break. Taylor (gal) and Chris(guy). I taught Taylor to play the Nose flute. She was good so I gave her one. She was thrilled with my nose version of Anchors Away. She loves that song. She better had! She’s in the Navy now ! I put in extra florishes and harmony. It’s a good feeling to put a smil on someone’s face.
The attached picture ( boo, I can’t seem to get pictures to upload) is me at the MD/PA border aka Mason Dixon line. Days later. I had spent the previous night at a B&B/ hostel in Cascade MD run by a terrific Mom named Elizabeth Gilchrist. She picked me up at the Trail head, drove me to the post office to pick up the food his from Joan and back to the Trail head again. What s giant breakfast of pancakes, 3 scrambled eggs, baked pears, milk juice and water. I finished it all.
Thank you Joan for sending me a variety of interesting dinners with instructions (in case I am an idiot). Couscous with veggies and tuna was my favorite. I eat double portions as I am burning lots of calories.

I’ll take a break now and blog more later

March 17 St Pattys Day we took off !

From Harpers Ferry WV with my hiking pal, Dave Hedrick. We went 7.3 miles straight up! Stayed st the Ed Garvey Shelter. A guy was killed at that shelter just s few days earlier when a tree fell on his head. Freak accident. We aren’t worried. Beautiful weather. View of the Potomac from high on Weverton Cliff. Temp below freezing st night. Water froze on the ground. Just a little nippy. Met lots of nice hikers midshipmen from the Naval Academy I taught her to play the nose flute. She learned right away.
We’d 3/18. We hope to make it to Dahlgren shelter tonight. Showers. I hope they are HOT showers.

Appalachian Trail hike to start March 17

Charlie’s Retirement PartySt Patty’s Day to bring us the luck o the Irish. My hiking partner is Dave and he has Irish heritage, and I am IBM, that Irish By Marriage, to my wonderful wife, Joan Flaherty. 100% on both sides.
We are thinking to start in Harper’s Ferry WV, the HQ of the ATC, Appal Trail Conservancy, which is about the middle of the AT, and hike north to Maine. Then take the bus back to WV and hike south to Atlanta. Why? Because it avoids the crowds of hikers that all want to start in Georgia in the spring. The ATC recommends this “flip flop” approach to save wear and tear on the AT.
And what is with this Donate button? I am doing this hike as a fundraiser for various non-profit causes/organizations, mostly including environmental efforts, stop global warming, electric cars, solar energy, energy efficiency. But I also hope to raise money for the Y, formerly known as the YMCA, to help youth. And the Rotary Club’s Stop Polio Now campaign. I am on the board of these organizations. All donations will be split among these groups, or you can earmark, by sending me a message at Some are pledging a penny a mile, which is just over $20 if I make it all the way. Many don’t complete the thru hike in one year, but rather do it in sections over a course of years, which is great, too, but we hope to make the whole dang thing in one year, March to September/October.