Day 15

Hi all,

I am at home getting ready to be back on the AT tomorrow with a new crew.  Check out the blog tomorrow to find out who is joining me.  We are going to start back up in Pomfret, Vermont.

I want to tell you about my first two weeks on the Appalachian Trail.  These fifteen days were largely a test of my physical and mental fortitude.  Before I was diagnosed with ALS last October, I was ready to hike every foot of the AT.  But ALS has of course made things more difficult.  I am not as strong and I move slowly, and if I am not careful I fall occasionally.  Rocks and roots are major obstacles now compared to when I used to hike the most challenging peaks in New England.  Ted and I even once skied down Tuckerman Ravine on Mt. Washington after hiking to the top with our gear (you can google it if you aren’t familiar with Tuckerman).

I still love the Green Mountains of Vermont, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the entire state of Maine.  Although it’s now more difficult to hike my favorite mountains, I am determined to do the best I can.  My reason for hiking is different now — to raise awareness of ALS and funds for research.  My goal is the same as that of ALS ONE: to find a treatment or cure by 2020.

So I look forward to seeing friends back on the trail, and hiking all of the Appalachian Trail I can between Mt. Greylock in MA to the end at Mt. Katahdin in Maine.  The distance is 600 miles, and I am determined to fight ALS all the way.

As you learned yesterday, my favorite craft beer is the Long Trail Ale from Vermont.  Below is a picture taken at the Long Trail Brewery two days ago.  My friends Ted and Didier gave me this sweatshirt as a gift; I am looking forward to wearing it to keep warm this fall and winter.  Thanks to my friends and the Long Trail Brewery.

When I am on the trail I think often of my sons, Henry — who is working at the Philmont Scout Ranch in NM this summer — and Philip, who is at home now but will be leaving for college next month.  I will buy them Long Trail sweatshirts if they want one too.


at the Long Trail Brewery
Tuckerman Ravine

5 thoughts on “Day 15

  1. Hope we didn’t just spoil the surprise but Kate and I are thrilled and honored to hike with Rick tomorrow!! ( There is another surprise guest tomorrow though. I won’t ‘spill the beans’ as to who that is. )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carol Ann Dixon

    Enjoying and admiring the true grit of the hikers, especially Rick. The cooler aspects of the weather are beckoning for us Texans

    Could you send a link or address for ALS one?

    Thanks and hugs
    Carol Ann

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol Ann dixon

    I know the women who joined you were inspired and inspiring……life works that way, doesn’t it????

    It’s perfect that People is following and updating your story. You have a wonderful story and are sharing it so beautifully

    Carol Ann

    Liked by 1 person

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