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.