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HIKING THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL – 2019
COME JOIN THE ADVENTURE & “LEAVE NO TRACE!”
Thru Hiking the Appalachian Trail – 2019
Hi, my name is Steven Carr, trail name Dudley DoRight. My trail name came from having a pronounced cleft chin and blonde hair, just like the cartoon character. The name was bestowed on me in my late teenage years.
On or about February 15th, 2019, my wife (Dyna Mite – she may be small but she is powerful!) and I will arrive at Dawsonville, Georgia, just a few miles to the Appalachian Trail head on Springer Mountain, waiting for a weather window to open so we can begin a trek North (making us NOBO’s) with a goal of completing the “thru hike” of the trail by August 31, 2019.
While on the trail, I will be celebrating my 60th birthday and my wife will be celebrating her 29th. (I wasn’t born yesterday guys!)
So, what led us to plan a 2189.5 mile hike of the Appalachian Trail across the eastern US? It was not just one thing. It is a physical, mental and spiritual quest…… to take on the challenge of a life time.
I grew up loving to explore and hike in the woods. My family hiked in northern New York State Adirondack Mountains when we lived in Rochester, NY. Our grandparents lived in Ticonderoga, NY, so as a child we hiked the beautiful hills and mountains in and around Lake Champlain.
At age six, we moved to Kingsport, TN, where we spend time in the Smoky’s and North Carolina hiking various mountains like Grandfather, Roan, Mitchell and Clingman’s Dome. We explored the trails in the Smoky Mountains and did many tours in Cades Cove, not far from Gatlinburg, TN, and only 5 miles from the AT. I often would see “thru hikers” on the trails and they always looked like they were having the time of their life.
After moving to Longview, Texas, we stopped hiking except on an occasional summer vacation out west or back to New York.
As an adult, the passion waned as life got busy. I ended up having two (2) back surgeries and pretty much wrote off the idea of hiking in the mountains. In recent years, my back has improved greatly. My wife and I even spent several summers in New Hampshire, just north of Mount Washington but we only hiked day trails a couple of times and never tried steep trails due to having dogs with us.
As I grew older, I started thinking about my “bucket list”. I have some crazy things I want to do but I could not stop thinking about the Appalachian Trail. One summer day, while on a visit to the top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, my dad and I met a young, 20’ish hiker at the top, (we drove to the top) who was hiking alone and was nearing the end of her trek.
My dad struck up a conversation and they talked for a few minutes to learn her story. I was blown away with the idea of a young, single woman hiking the entire trail solo. What better time than in-between college and starting a career. I was impressed.
It was not until a few years later that I realized some of the best trails on the AT ran through New Hampshire and Maine. Our summer home in Milan, NH was actually less than 20 miles from Mahoosuc Notch, known as one of the hardest miles on the trail.
As I pondered what would be involved in such an undertaking, I began researching online and discovered incredible videos on Youtube and other sites that covered everything from what gear you would need on the trail to “how to poop in the woods”. I started reading other hiking websites, books and quickly got the AT fever.
Recently I found out my grandfather, from Ticonderoga, NY, had hiked several parts of the AT in New York and parts of New England back in the late 30’s and early 40’s, so I guess I came by this passion honestly.
Late in 2017, my wife decided she could not let me hike alone. We now spend hours binge watching Youtube Vloggers who have been there and done that, as well as training physically at the gym and on trails in Houston, Georgia, Maine, New Hampshire and Virginia this summer.
I will share with you what we have learned and found out from experience. In 2018, we will be hiking three sections including Mount Washinton, Mahoosuc Notch and a one day summit of Mount Katadin at the end of the trail. We hope to take in a portion of Knife’s Edge as well. We will also climb a few of the mountains in North Carolina (Grandfather, Glingman’s Dome and Mitchell) In May, we plan to celebrate Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia for a couple of days.
During my 2019 hike, I will post videos on my YouTube Channel and embed them on my blog. Additionally, I will take many pictures along the way and make video interviews with other hikers. We will be carrying a GPS unit and it will show our progress on the site. You will need to contact me for a password for tracking. Dyna Mite will be journaling our trip on TrailJournals.com
Another reason I am doing this is to give back. I have six (6) non-profits that I would like to highlight:
1. American Heart Association – Heart.org
2. American Cancer Society – Cancer.com
3. Animal Shelter Volunteers of Texas – ASVTexas 100% of donations go to the support of the animals
4. Alzheimer’s Association – ALZ.org
5. Hike for Mental Health – Our Fund Raiser for Mental Health on the AT
6.Beauty For Ashes Ministries International – A ministry dealing with the victims of abortion who “Can’t forgive themselves”.
We are asking friends, family and others to pledge 2 cents for every mile we hike, which comes to $43.70 total, when we complete our thru hike. Click above to go to their respective page to register and donate AFTER we complete the hike. 100% of your donation goes directly to the organization you choose. Your committment is to them, not me. I just wanted to call attention to these great organizations.
So, I hope you enjoy this blog site and give me your feedback. Be sure to sign up for the blog alerts below!
One last thing, please subscribe to our Youtube account Dudley DoRight and click the little alert bell next to the subscribe button after you click subscribe. This sends alerts every time we post a new video of our pre, during and post hiking experiences. It will be fun!
I will see you on the Appalachian Trail in 2019!
Time to Climb Springer Mountain