Day 7

Thank you to everyone who has been following our journey.  Our week has been great — hiking through the woods is beautiful, and Ted and I made friends with many fellow hikers.   We encountered a thunderstorm and got soaked one day; one night it was chilly so we zipped up our sleeping bags and kept warm.  The trails in Vermont are sometimes wet and muddy, so I have to be careful to keep from losing my balance and falling.  I knew Ted was leaving the trail today to participate in a Tough Mudder this weekend (because hiking the AT isn’t challenging enough!), and I looked forward to our friends Didier Collin de Casaubon and his son Matthieu joining me.  However, I felt fatigued and unsteady yesterday, and was worried because we were planning a long hike to the Bromley Shelter today.  My left leg felt especially weak this morning, and when my wife, Eileen, brought Didier and Matthieu to meet us at a parking lot off the AT early this afternoon, I decided to go home for a few days and rest up so I could rejoin the group ready to hike again.  ALS is affecting my strength, and I must thank my colleagues for lightening my pack.  With a smaller and lighter pack, I think I can keep hiking the AT.  Like today, I expect to have to take a break every so often, but friends and neighbors have offered their houses near the trail to give me a break without driving all the way back to Boston.

I am proud of Didier and Matthieu, because they hiked on without me and made it to Bromley Shelter this evening.  I look forward to rejoining them in a few days.  I have always enjoyed hiking the Green Mountains, White Mountains, and Baxter State Park, and again I will do the best I can.  I will undoubtedly have to skip sections of the Appalachian Trail, but I hope to hike as far as I can.  Stay tuned to this blog.


4 thoughts on “Day 7

  1. Christi Johnson

    I’m glad you’re going to rest and I know you’ll be able to get back out there with your friends. You are such an inspiration to me and I’m so proud that “Steady” is my brother.


  2. Sam

    Hello Steady,
    So glad to hear you’re doing well! Do rest up though, and take it easy! I’ll be supporting you the whole way! Hope you don’t mind, but I shared your blog on facebook! Can’t wait to read more of your adventures!

    “Butterfoot’s” girlfriend, Sam 😉
    (Curious why he chose butterfoot… do you know?)


    1. Thank you Sam! This is Eileen (Rick’s wife). Here is what Wombat told me about how Butterfoot got his name — it seems that his feet were really sore and bothering him (maybe some blisters?), so he put some “butter-like substance” on them to try to provide some relief. Apparently whatever he was using smelled a lot like butter, and he was thereby named Butterfoot by his companions.


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