Ends and Beginnings – Mike’s Final Blog 9

When I began the trail, living from a backpack was foreign to me. Home was my room, my house, my neighborhood, my town. Somewhere along the way, however, those defaults changed. Living on the trail became a home of sorts. Packing and unpacking my world each morning and night became as familiar as all my...
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Mike Hikes The Appalachian Trail For ZANE – Blog 8

After more than four months on the trail, Mike is getting near the end of his walk. If you read through his post below you will see how it has inspired and uplifted him but while he has been on this beautiful, though admittedly challenging, journey, Zimbabwe has been on its difficult journey through elections...
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Mike Hikes The Appalachian Trail For ZANE – Blog 7

Sharing and Helping In between the beautiful bits, the trail is hard. It can be hot, wet, demoralising, lonely, fearsome, and it sometimes feels unfair. In fact, it’s just when it feels unfair – when I start anthropomorphising rocks, roots, or gradients, heaping curses on them or seeking to report them to higher authorities –...
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Mike Hikes The Appalachian Trail For ZANE – Blog 6

Hikers and Other Animals The Appalachian Trail often brings to mind bears. I have seen three bears, singly, on my walk, all in Shenandoah National Park. Each one seemed vaguely put out coming across me in their patch, and they all moved off, albeit one with a little huffing and puffing. I’ve also come across...
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Mike Hikes The Appalachian Trail For ZANE – Half Way

Half Way Point! Mile 1,096 Mike reached the half way point of his walk on 23 June and has therefore set himself up to be able to finish in good time before winter sets in and closes the Trail. To celebrate this achievement, a couple who have Zimbabwean connections contacted him through Facebook and offered...
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Mike Hikes The Appalachian Trail For ZANE – Blog 5

Mike recently took a few days R&R to dry out and have a bit of respite! He took the opportunity of calling in to see how things are going and something he said has fixed itself in our minds: “Often while I am walking I find myself thinking especially about the elderly in Zimbabwe and...
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Mike Hikes The Appalachian Trail For ZANE – Blog Extra

You Are What You Eat Imagine a doctor prescribing all the foods you should avoid lest you end up with premature maladies of the cardiovascular system: Trail nutrition means cramming as much of those foods as you possibly can into your belly. And when that’s full, carry on cramming up to your neck, your cheeks,...
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Mike Hikes The Appalachian Trail For ZANE – Blog 4

Everyone knows that walking scores of miles day after day will take a toll on your body. Unlike a day’s outing, or even a section hike, a through hike requires special appreciation for the long-term. Hiking for a few days, you can afford to use up some of your body’s reserves. The same can be...
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Mike Hikes The Appalachian Trail For ZANE – Blog 2

I’m learning a lot about ‘bear-bagging.’ The park services strongly encourage hikers to hang their food and other odoriferous things (like wet socks for instance!) by the “PCT method,” to stop animals associating campsites with food. To do this, one must first throw a line with a weighted bag over a branch at least 20...
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Mike Hikes The Appalachian Trail For ZANE – Blog 1

I’ve just finished day 5, and everything is going well. I’ve made excellent progress and feet seem to be holding up fine. My first three nights were rain, snow and 20F / -6C temps!! But I’m buoyant and feeling exhilarated by all the changing scenery and the feeling of making progress! Unfortunately the cold messed...
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