August 16, 2011

Did you know the Appalachian Trail continues up into Canada?

I didn't. But then I get all my information about the Appalachian Trial from Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods," which I've listened to as an audiobook 100s of times. (I fall asleep listening to audiobooks, and this is one of my favorites.) But here's Nina, hiking the Canadian section of the AT.
We had wondered why the label for this stretch of the IAT is "difficult." How could it be, when the elevations aren't so steep. Now we know.
LOL. Read the whole thing.

32 comments:

Seven Machos said...

I do an annual hike in the winter each year on the Ozark Trail and the very best parts are whenever we hit a stream. Never fun, but always fun to look back on.

edutcher said...

Nina's account is reminiscent of a lot of the early voyageurs' stories.

PS A guy I used to work with is a great hiker and probably knows all about it.

His big story, though, is how he almost died of thirst hiking the Dakota Badlands.

Nina's would be just another day.

mariner said...

I thought Bryson's book The Mother Tongue was great, until I read the reviews on Amazon vigorously disputing some of the things he presented as fact.

Now I can't read anything he writes without wondering if it's bullshit.

So I don't read his work anymore.

bagoh20 said...

As a much younger guy, I had a number of close calls with mortality while hiking (and a lot of other activities). I would, now in my 50's, never take such chances, and I seem never completely satisfied with my preparations for adventures, wanting something to cover every possible eventuality and risk. I hate that, but it's compulsive and robs me of what I really want. I want my spontaneous stupidity back. I want my close calls, along with the adventure and danger. What happens to us with the years. I have much less to lose now, but hang on to it tighter than ever. My friends consider me a dare devil type, but I'm actually a victim of the safety of my wisdom now. Is that wise?

bagoh20 said...

"Now I can't read anything he writes without wondering if it's bullshit.

So I don't read his work anymore."


Take the time to research who is actually bullshitting you. I don't know the answer, but it would be a shame to rob yourself of literature you enjoy based on anonymous critics. I have never read an internet thread of any length without lies in it.

Mary Beth said...

Everything I've read about it (mostly AT t-shirts) has always said it was from Maine to Georgia.

According to Wikipedia, the Appalachian Trail is from Maine to Georgia and the International Appalachian Trail goes into Canada. I imagine the only difference is what nation's park service oversees it.

traditionalguy said...

Let me guess.

The Canadian segment of the Trail is cooler than the Georgia segment of the trail is. Altitude can only help so much.

Mary Beth said...

It also says that there are proposals to extend it to Europe and North Africa. How can you have an Appalachian Trail where there are no Appalachian Mountains?

traditionalguy said...

You will also love Noah Adams reading his book: Far Appalachia: Following the New River North.

rcocean said...

So IOW she hiked for a couple days then went back to a hotel and had a big dinner.

OK.

What are 'kilometers'? Canadian Miles?

JAL said...

My introduction to Bill Bryson was "A Walk in the Woods" -- read by Bill Bryson.

Practically drove off the road we did, we laughed sooo hard.

Do you share an earphone with Meade?

How does Bryson reading "A Walk in the Woods" help you sleep?

Ahhh ... "100s of times" -- it might get a little predictable.

One of our kids just sent us the hard copy of "The Sex Lives of Cannibals" and it promises to be similar.

Which reminds me. Time to go to bed.

Bill said...

The northern end of the AT is at Katahdin in Maine. Another trail, the International AT, starts there and extends into Canada. They, and other trails extending all the way to Key West, comprise the Eastern Continental Trail.


Mary Beth: "How can you have an Appalachian Trail where there are no Appalachian Mountains?"

Geologically, they're the same mountains, formed before the continent was split by the Atlantic Ocean.
"Because North America and Africa were connected, the Appalachians formed part of the same mountain chain as the Little Atlas in Morocco. This mountain range, known as the Central Pangean Mountains, extended into Scotland, ..."
/wiki/Appalachian Mountains#Geology

radar said...

I've thru-hiked the AT and had many discussions with hikers and non-hikers about Bryson's A Walk In The Woods.

While enjoyable and humorous it is most definitely not an accurate account of the trail or the thru-hiker community.

There is also an un-official extension of the AT south of Georgia. The Eastern Continental Trail starts in Key West ends at the Gaspé Peninsula (the IAT).

Col Mustard said...

I would, now in my 50's, never take such chances, and I seem never completely satisfied with my preparations for adventures, wanting something to cover every possible eventuality and risk. I hate that, but it's compulsive and robs me of what I really want. I want my spontaneous stupidity back. I want my close calls, along with the adventure and danger. What happens to us with the years.

Excellent!

I first saw the alps in '85. Love at first sight. Thought there were enough hikes in the Berner Oberland, alone, to occupy me for a whole summer. Twenty-five + years later, summer's end is not in sight.

I look at pictures from years past and think, WTF was I doing there. I'm terrified of heights but if limits aren't tested, you never know what they are.

For the last 15 years I've been 'hosting' small hiker groups in Switzerland and Austria. As much fun as that is, I encourage/insist that all spend one day walking a less-traveled trail alone - if there is a God (or universal goodness), discovery is inevitable in solitude, on high.

Two years ago, I dawned on me that hiking alone in out-of-the-way places was kinda stupid. I can take on a lot of vertical and a lot of steep but, I'm 68 and I'm on a max dose of blood thinners. Be a pity if slipped and landed on a rock or something. Oh, well, my doc and I agree - given my love of the high country, wouldn't be a bad way to go.

Off again on the 31st

Seven Machos said...

A friend of mine hiked a trail in California with a friend. Apparently, the friend's mom was supposed to send a big box of food to some remote location to meet them (this was pre-current technology). She didn't do that. And they pretty much starved for a week.

That dude was really pissed at his mom.

A. Shmendrik said...

A. No it doesn't.

Deborah said...

This fall Iw ill be at the other end of the trail, at Springer Mountain.

Mary Beth said...

Geologically, they're the same mountains, formed before the continent was split by the Atlantic Ocean.

Yes, but they aren't called that. Europeans and Africans don't have a problem with naming a hiking trail through their lands after one here?

Shanna said...

I hiked a tiny part of the applacian trail in maryland years back with a group of college students. They gave us a geological map which we didn't completely understand. We were in front and hiked way beyond where we were supposed to meet up before we realized it and doubled back. It was pretty out there.

Clyde said...

Ah, an adventure! Which I read somewhere is someone else facing danger or discomfort somewhere far away.

There is something seductive about the idea of shedding most (but not all!) of the trappings of civilization and going off into the wild. A canvas tent instead of a walled building with a roof, a campfire instead of central air and heat, walking at human speed instead of whizzing along so fast that the scenery becomes a blur.

It's nice for short periods of time, but I think it really makes us more appreciative when we return to the benefits that our civilization provides to us. Up until a few thousand years ago, our ancestors lived that sort of nomadic life, except that they had to hunt and scrounge for their meals, rather than having freeze-dried rations and the occasional hostel to provide sustenance.

I do like the pictures that Nina provided on her blog, showing the beauty of nature in a place quite unlike where I live, and I liked her account of a less-than-perfect vacation that still seems to be an enjoyable experience.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

A couple of weeks ago I hiked Eisenhower and Pierce in New Hampshire's White Mountains. That included about two miles of the AT connecting the two mountains.

I have similarly hiked other bits of the AT, but only because it coincided with the trail for the mountain I was hiking.

Ann Althouse said...

"100s of times" includes much time asleep. Using this method of falling asleep -- which keeps me from keeping myself awake with my own thoughts -- I am out in 3 minutes. I start the book in different places, trying to eventually hear everything. It takes a long time!

Michael McNeil said...

The Appalachians used to be the highest mountains in the world — like the Himalayas are now, and for the same reason: continents colliding head on. The Himalayas were raised by the ongoing collision today of India with Asia, while the Appalachians (including those portions now riven asunder across what is now the Atlantic Ocean in places like Morocco) were raised by Eurasia/Africa's (now defunct) collision with North America a few hundred million years back.

Pogo said...

I walked to work this morning.

Some cut grass got on my shoes. My briefcase was heavy on my shoulder. The humidity was somewhat higher than I like. The clouds were not amazing. After that, I drank some acceptable coffee and had a granola bar that tasted of wax.

Part 2 of Pogo's Hike on the Apathetic Trail tomorrow.

It will read: Ditto.

Roger J. said...

Seven M: I discovered the Ozark Trail on a fishing trip to the little missouri river--a wonderful trail to hike--we would do well to keep it a secret lest someone discovers it :)

DADvocate said...

Elevations aren't steep. Elevations are high, low or somewhere in between. Slopes are steep.

Here's my latest hiking trip which was in Red River Gorge, Kentucky during the heat of July, includes pix.

Calypso Facto said...

Part 2 of Pogo's Hike on the Apathetic Trail tomorrow.

It will read: Ditto.


Funny stuff!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Part 2 of Pogo's Hike on the Apathetic Trail tomorrow.

It will read: Ditto.


Next time could you please include a spoiler alert?

madawaskan said...

Next time could you please include a spoiler alert?

Titus Hikes the Tetons?

{wv:recess}

cokaygne said...

Col Mustard, I'm 69, take blood thinner and hike alone. Never had a problem except for a couple of nasty falls. On Mount Desert Island there are hills that rise over a thousand feet within a couple of miles of the ocean. It is the greatest hiking area that I know of in the US. This is where I would like to die, falling off a cliff rather than hooked up to a machine in an ICU or babbling incoherently in a nursing home.

nevadabob said...

"Did you know the Appalachian Trail continues up into Canada?
I didn't."


Credentialed ... but not educated.

Chris said...

It's true! Also, Canada's Rocky Mountains continue into the States, although significantly reduced in grandeur.